Monday, June 11, 2012

Famous Rejection #76: Chinua Achebe’s ‘Things Fall Apart’

Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” has been considered a milestone in modern African literature written in English, and is one of the first to receive global acclaim. It has sold over 8 million copies worldwide, been translated into over 50 languages, and was selected as Time Magazine’s 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.

And, it too, was rejected:
It was sent to several publishing houses; some rejected it immediately, claiming that fiction from African writers had no market potential. Finally it reached the office of Heinemann, where executives hesitated until an educational adviser, Donald MacRae – just back in England after a trip through west Africa read the book and forced the company's hand with his succinct report: "This is the best novel I have read since the war".
In 1958, the publisher published 2,000 hardcover copies, and the rest is history.


  1. Couldn't find an email link for your blog, so here's a suggestion of another rejected author: John Kennedy Toole, author of 'A Confederacy of Dunces'.

  2. Thank goodness. Would have never had the pleasure of reading Things Fall Apart in college had someone not taken a chance on it.