NEW YORK — Chinua Achebe, the internationally celebrated Nigerian author, statesman and dissident who gave literary birth to modern Africa with “Things Fall Apart” and continued for decades to rewrite and reclaim the history of his native country, has died. He was 82.
Achebe died following a brief illness, said his agent, Andrew Wylie.
His eminence worldwide was rivaled only by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Toni Morrison and a handful of others. Achebe was a moral and literary model for countless Africans and a profound influence on such American writers as Morrison, Ha Jin and Junot Diaz.
As a Nigerian, Achebe lived through and helped define revolutionary change in his country, from independence to dictatorship to the disastrous war between Nigeria and the breakaway country of Biafra in the late 1960s. He knew both the prestige of serving on government commissions and the fear of being declared an enemy of the state. He spent much of his adult life in the United States, but never stopped calling for democracy in Nigeria or resisting literary honors from a government he refused to accept.
Bennett excited about new album with Gaga
NEW YORK — They haven't hit the studio yet, but Tony Bennett says he “can't wait” to record his next album with Lady Gaga.
The 86-year-old said in an interview Thursday that he and the pop star will record “a big swing album.” He says “we have it all worked out already on paper.”
Bennett and Gaga collaborated on “The Lady Is a Tramp” for his Grammy-winning, platinum-selling 2011 “Duets II” album. He called the 26-year-old a “wonderful person and a great talent.”
Nicholson, friend sell Aspen residence
ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — More than three decades after actor Jack Nicholson and a friend bought a historic Victorian home in a Colorado ski town, reportedly so they could get better TV reception, the two have sold the residence for $11 million.
Nicholson and record producer Lou Adler split the cost of the nearly 5,800-square-foot home in Aspen's West End in 1980. The home was later added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1987.
Nicholson and Adler already had homes in Aspen when they bought the residence, according to “Five Easy Decades,” Dennis McDougal's book about the actor.
But neither home could get TV reception. So they went halves on the old Judge Shaw house, chiefly so they could go there to watch Lakers basketball, McDougal wrote.