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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (203 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Chinua Achebe Narrator: Michael Page Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2009 ISBN: 9781400183777
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From the celebrated author of Things Fall Apart and the winner of the Man Booker International Prize comes a new collection of autobiographical essays.

Chinua Achebe’s characteristically measured and nuanced voice is everywhere present in the seventeen beautifully written pieces contained in this collection. In “The Education of a British-Protected Child,” Achebe gives us a vivid portrait of growing up in colonial Nigeria and inhabiting its “middle ground,” recalling both his happy memories of reading novels in secondary school and the harsher truths of colonial rule. In “African-American Visitations,” we witness the terrifying nature of the African diaspora and what it means not to know “from whence he came.” Politics and history figure in “What Is Nigeria to Me?,” “Africa’s Tarnished Name,” and “Politics of the Politicians of Language.” And Achebe’s extraordinary family comes into view in “My Dad and Me” and “My Daughters.”

Charmingly personal, intellectually disciplined, and steadfastly wise, The Education of a British-Protected Child is an indispensable addition to the remarkable Achebe oeuvre.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “In this book [Achebe] tangles further, and profitably, with the obsessions that have defined his career: colonialism, identity, family, [and] the uses and abuses of language.”

    New York Times

  • “A welcome return to the issues he helped define, [listeners] will find much to ponder regarding family and community as well as the legacy of Africa and Africans around the world.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Achebe’s collection of essays and speeches spanning several decades is a powerful and moving production made even more poignant by Michael Page’s resonant voice.”

    AudioFile

  • “Page’s solid performance suits the tone of the essays.”

    Library Journal Audio Review

  • “Humane and carefully argued responses to events of recent years, coupled with a long look back at the African past.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lindsey | 2/13/2014

    " This book of essays can be summed up by two quotes from it. The first is from Achebe himself: "Africa is people." The second is the Bantu dictum: "A human is human because of other humans." Once you acknowledge the truth of the former, the latter implies how our actions should trend. This may all seem utterly obvious, but as Achebe points out, after centuries of intentional degradation of a people by those who speak and write about them, nothing should be taken for granted. These essays, like everything Achebe has written, attempt to nudge humanity in the right direction. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie | 2/7/2014

    " Autobiographical essays that often confront European, American, and African-American mis-conceptions of Africa/ "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tuck | 2/7/2014

    " believe it or not, a very readable and brilliant survey of Achebe's intellectual and family pursuits over the years. So you get both insider personal information about his family, what it's like living in usa as a brown person(not fun most of the time), Nigerian fuckedupedness both homegrown and from the outside (see missionaries and oil companies), pan-African literature and politics, and much much more. This is the Achebe version of the great great Eduardo Galeano and his "Upside Down" and "Mirrors" books about intellectual and poor people on the west side of Atlantic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 1/14/2014

    " Shrewd observations, no sugar coating but generous-spirited. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anastasia | 1/4/2014

    " Achebe's writing is strong, but this collection of essays was a little random and better suited to someone (not me) who is already familiar with his novels. Still, he presented some interesting analysis on the West's views of Africa and other topics. One major downside was all the sexist writing. It was tiresome to read "he," "him," and "man" over and over and over and over again. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruthmarie | 1/2/2014

    " Much of the material is informative background material for understanding Achebe's approach to his Things Fall Apart. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sareene | 12/19/2013

    " As always with a collection of essays, I liked some a lot more than others. I also enjoyed his _Hopes and Impediments_ more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kit | 12/4/2013

    " I would have quite liked any individual handful of essays but as a collection it's a little too repetitive in places. Great stuff on Baldwin, Things Fall Apart, issues of language. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nick | 11/30/2013

    " Beautifully written essays by Chinua Achebe, almost all involving both his personal history and the themes he has treated all his writing life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bill | 11/29/2013

    " The essays are important, and Achebe is very likeable. Read this to get a less biased view of Africa, the issues today and the history that hasn't been told in the West. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deb | 8/19/2013

    " A collection of Achebe's ephemera - speeches, etc, Ok but not extremely interesting except when he speaks about Biafra. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Libby | 7/9/2013

    " Mind-opening. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Charles | 5/15/2013

    " I was hoping for the bite of V.S. Naipaul in Achebe's revisit of his colonial Nigerian youth. This is milder stuff: observant, measured, and ambivalent about the English influence that both oppressed and ultimately freed him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Saheed Okuboyejo | 1/16/2013

    " This book made me think in a way that I have never thought before. It's like spending 3 days alone with Achebe sharing his life experience, his wisdom and hope! The Education of a British Protected Child helped me spend Achebe's last days with him! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nina Chachu | 5/30/2012

    " A collection of essays written by Chinua Achebe over the last twenty or so years. Many are quite personal. All are eminently readable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenny | 1/31/2012

    " This is Achebe's first new book in decades. It's a collection of essays that concern his thoughts on colonialism, Nigeria, and the success of "Things Fall Apart." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 dead letter office | 8/6/2011

    " Spotty as hell. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie | 5/4/2011

    " Autobiographical essays that often confront European, American, and African-American mis-conceptions of Africa/ "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kit | 3/4/2011

    " I would have quite liked any individual handful of essays but as a collection it's a little too repetitive in places. Great stuff on Baldwin, Things Fall Apart, issues of language.
    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alison | 8/27/2010

    " Disappointingly slight and lacking in focus. He touches on a subject but doesn't develop it. Granted, these aren't really essays, they're from random talks that he gave.

    Didn't finish it for lack of interest. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 8/5/2010

    " Shrewd observations, no sugar coating but generous-spirited. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nick | 3/16/2010

    " Beautifully written essays by Chinua Achebe, almost all involving both his personal history and the themes he has treated all his writing life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deb | 3/10/2010

    " A collection of Achebe's ephemera - speeches, etc, Ok but not extremely interesting except when he speaks about Biafra. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Fatou | 2/21/2010

    " I found it to be repetitive As a big fan of Achebe, I thought the book was a let down. Almost like reading political speeches. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bill | 2/8/2010

    " The essays are important, and Achebe is very likeable. Read this to get a less biased view of Africa, the issues today and the history that hasn't been told in the West. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruthmarie | 12/30/2009

    " Much of the material is informative background material for understanding Achebe's approach to his Things Fall Apart. "

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About the Author
Author Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe (1930–2013) was a prominent Nigerian writer who is famous for his novels describing the effects of Western customs and values on traditional African society. His satire and keen ear for spoken language made him one of the most highly esteemed African writers in English. He published novels, essay collections, poetry, short stories, and juvenile fiction. Among his works are Things Fall Apart, Anthills of the Savannah, A Man of the People, Arrow of God, and the notable collections Morning Yet on Creation Day and Hopes and Impediments. A recipient of the Man Booker International Prize, he was the Charles P. Stevenson Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.

About the Narrator

Michael Page has been recording audiobooks since 1984 and has over two hundred titles to his credit. He has won eleven AudioFile Earphones Awards and in 2012 was a winner of the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. As a professional actor, he has performed regularly since 1998 with the Peterborough Players in Peterborough, New Hampshire. He is a professor of theater at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan.