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Author Chinua Achebe dies at 82

NEW YORK (AP) — Chinua Achebe, the internationally celebrated Nigerian author, statesman and dissident who gave literary birth to modern Africa with "Things Fall Apart," has died. He was 82.

Achebe's death was confirmed by his agent.

For decades, Achebe penned novels, stories and essays to rewrite and reclaim the history of his native country.

His eminence worldwide was rivaled only by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Toni Morrison and a handful of others. Achebe was a moral and literary model for countless Africans and a profound influence on such American writers as Morrison, Ha Jin and Junot Diaz.

As a Nigerian, Achebe lived through and helped define revolutionary change in his country, from independence to dictatorship to the disastrous war between Nigeria and the breakaway country of Biafra in the late 1960s. He knew both the prestige of serving on government commissions and the fear of being declared an enemy of the state. He spent much of his adult life in the United States, but never stopped calling for democracy in Nigeria or resisting literary honors from a government he refused to accept. "

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