Chinua Achebe, groundbreaking African writer, has died at 82, literary agent reports

FILE - This is a Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2008 file photo of Chinua Achebe, Nigerian-born novelist and poet as he speaks about his works and his life at his home on the campus of Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York where he is a professor . Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, who wrote the classic "Things Fall Apart," has died. He was 82. Achebe's publisher confirmed his death Friday March 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
A 2008 file photo of Achebe
Craig Ruttle/AP

Chinua Achebe, a groundbreaking writer from Nigeria, has died, his literary agent said today in a brief statement.

Achebe was 82 years old and first reached prominence with the publication of “Things Fall Apart’’ in 1958, which marked the arrival of an African-born writer onto the international stage. In 2007, he was awarded the Man Booker International Prize for Literature in recognition of his long, successful, writing career.

Achebe’s relatives in Massachusetts referred all calls to the office of Andrew Wylie, his literary agent.

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According to published reports, and records, Achebe was injured in a car crash in 1990 and has principally lived in the United States since then. In 2009, Achebe was named the David and Marianna Fisher University professor and professor of Africana studies at Brown University, the university said today. He had previously taught at Bard College.

Achebe’s literary agent released the following statement: “Chinua Achebe has died at the age of 82, following a brief illness. One of the great literary voices of his time, he was also a beloved husband, father, uncle and grandfather, whose wisdom and courage are an inspiration to all who knew him. Professor Achebe’s family requests privacy at this time.’’

The statement did not say where Achebe died.