The passing of renowned Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe brought a somber taste of reality to his many fans around the world. Achebe, the author of the no-questions-asked classic Things Fall Apart, passed away early this morning in Boston at the age of 82.

For those of us who have read, felt or even heard about Things Fall Apart, a legendary story of a Nigerian man’s battle against the terrorism of late-19th century European colonialism, it was both a great read and a lesson to learn. Published in 1958, it caught fire with legions of people across the globe, fighting back against oppression and discrimination.

A staple in college classrooms and black book stores ever since, Achebe’s novel resonates to this day. The classic has sold over 10 million copies and has been translated into 50 languages. If you’ve never read it, or (god forbid) have never even heard of it, take some time to get familiar with this powerful text. Achebe is also the author of several other novels, poetry books and short stories. At the time of his death, he was working as a professor at Brown University.