In the fictional West African nation Kangan, newly independent of British rule, the hopes and dreams of democracy have been quashed by a fierce military dictatorship. Chris Oriko is a member of the cabinet of the president for life, one of his oldest friends. When the president is charged with censoring the oppositionist editor of the state-run newspaper—another childhood friend—Chris's loyalty and ideology are put to the test. The fate of Kangan hangs in the balance as tensions rise and a devious plot is set in motion to silence the firebrand critic.
Chinua Achebe was born in Nigeria in 1930. His first novel, Things Falls Apart, became a classic of international literature and required reading for students worldwide. He also authored four subsequent novels, two short-story collections, and numerous other books. He was the David and Marianna Fisher University Professor and Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University and, for over 15 years, was the Charles P. Stevenson Jr. Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College. In 2007, Achebe was awarded the Man Booker International Prize for lifetime achievement. He died in 2013.