Things Fall Apart is the most widely read and influential African novel. Published in 1958, it has sold more than nine million copies and been translated into fifty-two languages. African culture is not familiar to most American readers however, and this casebook provides a wealth of commentary and original materials that place the novel in its historical, social, and cultural contexts. Ogbaa, an Igbo scholar, has selected a wide variety of historical and firsthand accounts of the Igbo historical and cultural heritage. These accounts illuminate the historical context and issues relating to the colonization of Africa by European powers, in particular Britain's colonization of Nigeria. Fascinating materials bring to light the novel's cultural context--folkways, language and narrative customs, and traditional Igbo religion. Among the documents included are a slave narrative, interviews, journal and magazine articles, and historical essays. Each chapter is followed by questions for class discussion and ideas for student paper topics. A selection of maps and photos of Igbo culture complement the text.