Hopes and Impediments

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Hopes and Impediments: Selected Essays, 1965-1987 is collection of essays by Chinua Achebe, published in 1988.[1]

Several of the essays caution against generalizing all African people into a monolithic culture, or using Africa as a facile metaphor.[2] The opening essay, "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness", challenged the prevailing opinions in the west about Joseph Conrad's depiction of African people.[3] He also discusses several notable authors and shares his opinion on the role of writers and writing in cultures. In a contemporary review, Chris Dunton wrote: "The essays in his new book remind us also how tough-minded, how properly insistent, he can be in exposing false and demeaning ideas about Africa and its culture."[4] The book is dedicated to Professor Michael Thelwell.[5]



  1. ^ Achebe, Chinua (1988) Hopes and Impediments: Selected Essays, 1965-1987. Heinemann, ISBN 0-435-91000-0
  2. ^ Edwards-Yearwood, Grace (December 31, 1989). Africa Is Nobody's Metaphor: Hopes and Impediments by Chinua Achebe (review). Los Angeles Times.
  3. ^ Grossman, Ron (November 8, 1989). "Damning message proves irresistible", Chicago Tribune.
  4. ^ Ezenwa-Ohaeto (1997). Chinua Achebe: A Biography, p. 262. Indiana University Press, ISBN 978-0-253-33342-1
  5. ^ French, Mary Ann (September 12, 1999). "The people's professor: Michael Thelwell, father of black studies at UMass-Amherst, thinks most of his academic peers have sold out the values of the '60s". Boston Globe.

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