Things Fall Together: A conversation with Chinua Achebe and Toni Morrison

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Leon Botstein interviews Chinua Achebe and Toni Morrison – full transcript under “Resources” in the article entitled “Things Fall Together”.

They tackle a number of issues. The classic “language question” is discussed, of course, and you might, by now and understandably, find this a bit boring. However, the discussion goes further than the usual one of “should African authors write in English or not?” and discussions on using vernacular, the intricacies of the Igbo language, etc. take place and I hope you’ll find this enlightening.

How teaching impacts upon writing. Toni Morrison feels that it is impossible to do both, that is, speaking for herself, she cannot be a teacher and a writer at the same time. Achebe, on the other hand, did both his whole life.

The question of the impact of modern technology on the younger generation is posed. Toni Morrison believes that literature today is more valuable than ever, but that the new generation lack the ability to imagine or visualize things that you need to have in order to read properly. Do you agree?

They go on to discuss fame, the writing process, etc. Please read, and enjoy!

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