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There Was A Country: A Personal History of Biafra - Chinua Achebe
There Was A Country: A Personal History of Biafra
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From the legendary author of Things Fall Apart comes a longawaited memoir about coming of age with a fragile new nation, then watching it torn asunder in a tragic civil war The defining experience of Chinua Achebe’s life was the Nigerian civil war, also known as the Biafran War, of 1967–1970.... show more
From the legendary author of Things Fall Apart comes a longawaited memoir about coming of age with a fragile new nation, then watching it torn asunder in a tragic civil war The defining experience of Chinua Achebe’s life was the Nigerian civil war, also known as the Biafran War, of 1967–1970. The conflict was infamous for its savage impact on the Biafran people, Chinua Achebe’s people, many of whom were starved to death after the Nigerian government blockaded their borders. By then, Chinua Achebe was already a world-renowned novelist, with a young family to protect. He took the Biafran side in the conflict and served his government as a roving cultural ambassador, from which vantage he absorbed the war’s full horror. Immediately after, Achebe took refuge in an academic post in the United States, and for more than forty years he has maintained a considered silence on the events of those terrible years, addressing them only obliquely through his poetry. Now, decades in the making, comes a towering reckoning with one of modern Africa’s most fateful events, from a writer whose words and courage have left an enduring stamp on world literature. Achebe masterfully relates his experience, bothas he lived it and how he has come to understand it. He begins his story with Nigeria’s birth pangs and the story of his own upbringing as a man and as a writer so that we might come to understand the country’s promise, which turned to horror when the hot winds of hatred began to stir. To read There Was a Country is to be powerfully reminded that artists have a particular obligation, especially during a time of war. All writers, Achebe argues, should be committed writers—they should speak for their history, their beliefs, and their people. Marrying history and memoir, poetry and prose, There Was a Country is a distillation of vivid firsthand observation and forty years of research and reflection. Wise, humane, and authoritative, it will stand as definitive and reinforce Achebe’s place as one of the most vital literary and moral voices of our age.
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Format: hardcover
ISBN: 9781594204821 (1594204829)
ASIN: 1594204829
Publisher: Penguin
Pages no: 352
Edition language: English
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Community Reviews
SheWhoWaits
SheWhoWaits rated it
3.0 There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra
I was disappointed in this book. Achebe is truly a great writer and I was so looking forward to learning about the Biafran War/Nigerian Civil War. But this book is boring. It has moments of interesting storytelling, moments of stirring railing against the injustices done to the Igbos, but there's so...
Peace, Love & Books
Peace, Love & Books rated it
4.0 There Was A Country: A Personal History of Biafra
A fascinating work of memoir and history. I found Achebe's discussion of the Nigeria-Biafra War particularly enlightening as knew little about the conflict.
Rowena's Reviews
Rowena's Reviews rated it
5.0
When I first read Chinua Achebe at age 11 (Things Fall Apart), he was one of the few African writers I'd read growing up. As an African I often wondered why there weren't too many books about Africa written by Africans. Things are changing now but when I was growing up that wasn't the case.As such, ...
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