Umofia as Athenian
Many critics note that Umofian society is similar to ancient Greek civilization. Some point out that Greece was influenced by Africa, and that the democratic system in place in African society predated that of Greece. The colonizers may not have recognized it, but the readers of Achebe's book can see the oft-honored ways of Athens. This endears the Umofian nation to Western readers, by making it more familiar and even culturally superior to the British invaders. But there is one major problem with that idea. "By circumscribing Achebe's book within European aesthetic traditions, such readings are in danger of perpetuating precisely the colonialist gestures that the book is designed to surmount." (Booker, 66) Western readers may be alienated by an unfamiliar society, but to cater to Western tastes, to Booker, is evidence of intellectual colonization.
Achebe's fiction and criticism continue to inspire and influence writers around the world. Hilary Mantel , the Booker Prize-winning novelist in a May 7, 2012 article in Newsweek , "Hilary Mantel's Favorite Historical Fictions", lists Things Fall Apart as one of her five favorite novels in this genre. A whole new generation of African writers – Caine prize winners Binyavanga Wainaina (current director of the Chinua Achebe Center at Bard College) and Helon Habila ( Waiting for an Angel  and Measuring Time ); as well as Uzodinma Iweala ( Beasts of No Nation ); and Professor Okey Ndibe ( Arrows of Rain ) count Chinua Achebe as a significant influence. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie , the author of the popular and critically acclaimed novels Purple Hibiscus (2003) and Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), commented in a 2006 interview, "Chinua Achebe will always be important to me because his work influenced not so much my style as my writing philosophy: reading him emboldened me, gave me permission to write about the things I knew well."