From the legendary author of Things Fall Apart – a long-awaited memoir of coming of age in a fragile new nation, and its destruction in a tragic civil war
For more than forty years, Chinua Achebe has maintained a considered silence on the events of the Nigerian civil war, also known as the Biafran War, of 1967–1970, addressing them only obliquely through his poetry. Now, decades in the making, comes a towering account of one of modern Africa’s most disastrous events, from a writer whose words and courage have left an enduring stamp on world literature. A marriage of history and memoir, vivid firsthand observation and decades of research and reflection, There Was a Country is a work whose wisdom and compassion remind us of Chinua Achebe’s place as one of the great literary and moral voices of our age.
“Achebe is a master storyteller. His style is deceptively simple – almost fable-like – and quietly passionate. The chapters are generally short: some of them feel like they’re part of a novel; others are explorations of the artist’s role in times of war, and feel more like personal essays in tone. Poems written during the war are nested between interviews with the key players in the conflict. Though this ‘almost’ memoir of the Nigerian–Biafran War sometimes feels disordered, it ultimately works to create a clear-sighted, prismatic picture of Nigeria’s descent from post-independence hope to tragedy, and the colossal mistakes made along the way.” – Ed Moreno, Readings Bookstore
Chinua Achebe Nigerian novelist and poet Chinua Achebe is probably black Africa’s most widely read novelist. His first work, Things Fall Apart, is regarded as a classic of world literature and has been translated into 40 languages. Achebe’s novels focus on the traditions of Igbo society, the effect of Christian influences, and the clash of values during and after the colonial era.
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