There was a country by Chinua Achebe

 13588385

Author is mostly known for

  1. Things Fall Apart (1958), which is the most widely read book in modern African literature

Others publications 

Novels
  • Things Fall Apart (1958)
  • No Longer at Ease (1960)
  • Arrow of God (1964)
  • A Man of the People (1966)
  • Anthills of the Savannah (1987)
Short stories
  • Marriage Is A Private Affair (1952)
  • Dead Men’s Path (1953)
  • The Sacrificial Egg and Other Stories (1953)
  • Civil Peace (1971)
  • Girls at War and Other Stories (including “Vengeful Creditor”) (1973)
  • African Short Stories (editor, with C.L. Innes) (1985)
  • The Heinemann Book of Contemporary African Short Stories (editor, with C. L. Innes) (1992)
  • The Voter
Poetry
  • Beware, Soul-Brother, and Other Poems (1971) (published in the US as Christmas at Biafra, and Other Poems, 1973)
  • Don’t Let Him Die: An Anthology of Memorial Poems for Christopher Okigbo (editor, with Dubem Okafor) (1978)
  • Another Africa (1998)
  • Collected Poems Carcanet Press (2005)
  • Refugee Mother And Child
  • Vultures
Essays, criticism, non-fiction and political commentary
  • The Novelist as Teacher (1965) – also in Hopes and Impediments
  • An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” (1975) – also in Hopes and Impediments
  • Morning Yet on Creation Day (1975)
  • The Trouble With Nigeria (1984)
  • Hopes and Impediments (1988)
  • Home and Exile (2000)
  • The Education of a British-Protected Child (6 October 2009)
  • There Was A Country: A Personal History of Biafra (11 October 2012)

Children’s books

  • Chike and the River (1966)
  • How the Leopard Got His Claws (with John Iroaganachi) (1972)
  • The Flute (1975)
  • The Drum (1978)

Sources: Wikipedia

Prizes/Awards 

  1.  Margaret Wrong Memorial Prize (1959)
  2. Nigerian National Trophy for literature (1960)
  3. Commonwealth Poetry Prize (1972 et 1979)
  4. Nigerian National Merit Award (1979)
  5. Peace Prize of the German Book Trade (2002)
  6. International Man Booker prize(2007)

Author whereabouts 

Chinua Achebe died on  March 21st, 2013.

Excerpt

From the legendary author of Things Fall Apart comes a long-awaited 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, both as 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.

Key themes/Topics

  1. Nigerian civil war
  2. Biafran War
  3. Achebe’s role in the war
  4. The story and life of Christopher Ifekandu Okigbo (1930–1967) who was a Nigerian poet, who died fighting for the independence of Biafra
  5. The west role’s in the Biafra conflict
  6. The root causes of the conflict
  7. The consequences of losing the war for Nigeria and for the Igbo ethnic group
  8. Poems about the Biafran war
  9. Chinua Achebe’s life prior and during the conflict

I found strange

Nothing. Great book!

I found brilliant

The end of chapter poems were dark and terrifying. They will instill sadness into you.

What to expect 

Unfortunately, this memoir is a book about war. As such, it is in essence a very distressful book. The highlight for any reader will most likely be the author’s life and struggle throughout the conflict. I  recommend.

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