Chinua Achebe was born in Ogidi in 1930, and graduated from Ibadian University in 1953. After studying in the BBC staff school with other Commonwealth broadcasters, he worked as a radio broadcaster until 1966, when he left his post as director of external broadcasting in Nigeria during the national upheaval that led to the Biafran War. He was appointed senior research fellow at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and lectured widely abroad. From 1972 to 1975 and again from 1987 to 1988, Mr Achebe was Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has travelled widely in East and Central Africa, the USA and Brazil. Chinua Achebe has published novels, short stories, poetry, essays and children's books. His volume of poetry, Christmas in Biafra, was the joint winner of the first Commonwealth Poetry Prize. Of his novels, Arrow of God won the New Statesman-Jock Campbell Award, and Anthills of the Savannah was a finalist for the 1987 Booker Prize. He has received over thirty honorary doctorates and numerous honours from around the world, including the Honorary Fellowship of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Nigerian National Order of Merit. Mr Achebe lives with his wife in New York, where they teach at Bard College. They have four children and three grandchildren.