Chinua Achebe, a Nigerian recognized as the father of modern African writing, topped an international list of authors — including Canadian novelists Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje — to win the second Man Booker International Prize.


Achebe’s work is “a joy and an illumination to read,” said novelist and judge Nadine Gordimer. She said his early work “made him the father of modern African literature as an integral part of world literature.”


The prize is worth $126,000 and is awarded once every two years to a living author for a body of work that has contributed to achievement in fiction on the world stage.


Achebe, the author of more than 20 books, is probably best known for his first novel, Things Fall Apart, written in 1958, which has sold more than 10 million copies around the world, and for Anthills Of The Savannah, published over 30 years later.