Arrow of God Background

Arrow of God Background

Chinua Achebe’s novel Arrow of God was published in 1964. It is a political and cultural novel that is set in a country in Africa: Nigeria. It is a fictional book that tells the real life story of Nigeria and its fight to keep their beliefs and culture while the British invade. Slowly, Nigeria’s culture disintegrates and reorients itself to Western culture and Christian values. It's main character, Ezeulu, is the chief priest of Ulu, the god created by the people of Umuaro. They created this god to rule over the other individual gods during a time of crisis. As the chief priest, Ezeulu takes on the responsibility to fight for his religious authority. This is Achebe’s third novel after his books No Longer At Ease and Things Fall Apart. These three books together are often referred to as the African Trilogy. This book was published as part of the prominent Heinemann African Writers Series.

The phrase "Arrow of God" comes from the Igbo proverb when a person or sometimes even an event, are said to embody the image of God. The title "Arrow of God" exemplifies Ezeulu as the arrow in the bow of his god. Arrow of God was the first ever novel to win the Jock Campbell/New Statesmen Prize for African writing.

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