Achebe's first three novels were all clearly set in Igbo villages in Nigeria. A Man of the People, however, was set in a fictional African country as Achebe sought to write African literature on the condition of the continent in more general terms. The novel does not include any specific ethnic or cultural groups. The problems portrayed in the book, such as bribery, incompetence and governmental apathy, were experienced by many West African nations in the neocolonial era. As Nigeria had not experienced a coup when Achebe wrote A Man of the People, his model for the novel's events must have been military coups in other African nations. Despite his intentions, however, the subsequent coup in Nigeria meant that the book was again seen as being principally about Nigeria.
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