Hopes and Impediments
Several of the essays caution against generalizing all African people into a monolithic culture, or using Africa as a facile metaphor. 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. 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." The book is dedicated to Professor Michael Thelwell.
- "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness"
- "Impediments to Dialogue Between North and South"
- "Named for Victoria, Queen of England"
- "The Novelist as Teacher"
- "The Writer and His Community"
- "The Igbo World and Its Art"
- "Colonialist Criticism"
- "Thoughts on the African Novel"
- "Work and Play in Tutuola’s The Palm-Wine Drinkard"
- "Don’t Let Him Die: A Tribute to Christopher Okigbo"
- "Kofi Awoonor as Novelist"
- "Language and the Destiny of Man"
- "The Truth of Fiction"
- "What Has Literature Got To Do With It?"
- "Postscript: James Baldwin (1924-1987)"
- Achebe, Chinua (1988) Hopes and Impediments: Selected Essays, 1965-1987. Heinemann, ISBN 0-435-91000-0
- Edwards-Yearwood, Grace (December 31, 1989). Africa Is Nobody's Metaphor: Hopes and Impediments by Chinua Achebe (review). Los Angeles Times.
- Grossman, Ron (November 8, 1989). "Damning message proves irresistible", Chicago Tribune.
- Ezenwa-Ohaeto (1997). Chinua Achebe: A Biography, p. 262. Indiana University Press, ISBN 978-0-253-33342-1
- 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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