Chinua Achebe, the acclaimed Nigerian author of Things Fall Apart and other literary works, has died at the age of 82.
Citing the author's agent, Andrew Wylie, The Associated Press reports that Achebe died after an illness.
"He was also a beloved husband, father, uncle and grandfather, whose wisdom and courage are an inspiration to all who knew him," said Wylie in a statement.
Achebe, who lived in the United States for the majority of his adulthood, was a vocal proponent of bringing democracy to Nigeria. His celebrated first novel, Things Fall Apart, is set in the country and tells the story of a tribal leader who clashes with British colonialists. Published in 1958, the book has sold more than 8 million copies globally and has been translated into 50-plus languages, helping to define and inspire a new wave of modern African literature.
Achebe's other books include A Man of the People, Arrow of God, No Longer at Ease and The Anthills of Savannah as well as short stories and poetry.
He received the Man Booker International Prize in 2007 and, two years later, became a professor of languages and literature at Brown University. He was previously on the faculty at New York's Bard College, where the wheelchair-bound author (paralyzed from the waist-down from a car accident in 1990) resided in a cottage on campus built especially for him, according to the AP.