Of Flight, Fraud, and Freedom: Achebe’s Political Tricksters

  • Thomas Jay Lynn
Part of the African Histories and Modernities book series (AHAM)


The trickster’s role in West African and other postcolonial literatures exemplifies the integration of traditional storytelling elements to affirm a culture’s values without severing those values from European influences. Modern fictional tricksters, including Achebe’s, play a role in recovering dimensions of culture that were nearly extinguished by colonization or reshaped by colonial priorities. In shedding light, moreover, on dilemmas posed by colonial and postcolonial societies—such as, in Achebe’s work, the misappropriation of power and the corrupt practices of post-independence rulers—tricksters demonstrate the relevance to modern literature of traditional narrative motifs.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Jay Lynn
    • 1
  1. 1.Penn State BerksReadingUSA

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