Things Fall Apart tells two intertwining stories, both centering on Okonkwo, a “strong man” of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The first, a powerful fable of the immemorial conflict between the individual and society, traces Okonkwo’s fall from grace with the tribal world. The second, as modern as the first is ancient, concerns the clash of cultures and the destruction of Okonkwo's world with the arrival of aggressive European missionaries. These perfectly harmonized twin dramas are informed by an awareness capable of encompassing at once the life of nature, human history, and the mysterious compulsions of the soul.
The German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-45), is best known for his opposition to the rise of National Socialism (Nazism) in Germany and his participation in the resistance movement, which led to his imprisonment and eventual execution at the age of 39. Life Together was written out of his experience in a community of Christian students.