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Nigerian novelist and poet Chinua Achebe has passed away. He was 82 years old. 

Achebe gained notoriety and renown after the publication of his first novel, Things Fall Apart, in 1958. A story about an Igbo warrior named Okonkwo and colonialism in Africa, the book has sold millions of copies and been published in over 50 languages.

According to reports, Achebe died in a Boston area hospital last night. Sources close to his family claim the author had been ill for some time.

The Guardian reports:

African papers were reporting his death following an illness and hospital stay in Boston this morning, and both his agent and his publisher later confirmed the news to the Guardian.Simon Winder, publishing director at Penguin, called him an “utterly remarkable man”.

“Chinua Achebe is the greatest of African writers and we are all desolate to hear of his death,” he said.

Achebe was considered by many to be the “father of African literature.” Other work the author published, which were all written in English, include A Man of the People in 1966 and Anthills of the Savannah in 1987. Born in the Igbo town of Ogidi in Nigeria in 1930, since 2009 Achebe was a professor at Brown University, holding the position of the David and Marianna Fisher University Professor and Professor of Africana Studies.

Rest In Power Chinua Achebe.

Photo: AP