There Was a Country : A Personal History of Biafra
The defining experience of Chinua Achebe's life was the Nigerian civil war, also known as the Biafran War. For more than forty years Achebe was silent on those terrible years, until he produced this towering reckoning with one of modern Africa's most fateful events. A marriage of history, remembrance, poetry and vivid first-hand observation, There Was a Country is a work of wisdom and compassion from one of the great voices of our age.
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- Paperback | 352 pages
- 129 x 198 x 20mm | 258g
- 13 Jun 2003
- Penguin Books Ltd
- London, United Kingdom
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It has the tense narrative grip of the best fiction. It is also a revelatory entry into the intimate character of the writer's brilliant mind and bold spirit. Achebe has created here a new genre of literature -- Nadine Gordimer Engrossing ... an elegy from a master storyteller who has witnessed the undulating fortunes of a nation ... his strongest expressions are his poems, scattered between chapters, offering affecting interludes -- Noo Saro-Wiwa * Guardian * Matchless ... what a man; what a life -- Giles Foden * Daily Telegraph * Part-history, part-memoir, [Achebe's] moving account of the war is laced with anger, but there is also an abiding tone of regret for what Nigeria might have been without conflict and mismanagement * Sunday Times * A blend of historical overview, personal memoir and political manifesto ... fascinating * Evening Standard *
About Chinua Achebe
Chinua Achebe was born in Nigeria in 1930. He was raised in the large village of Ogidi, one of the first centers of Anglican missionary work in Eastern Nigeria, and was a graduate of University College, Ibadan. His early career in radio ended abruptly in 1966, when he left his post as Director of External Broadcasting in Nigeria during the national upheaval that led to the Biafran War. Achebe joined the Biafran Ministry of Information and represented Biafra on various diplomatic and fund-raising missions. He was appointed Senior Research Fellow at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and began lecturing widely abroad. For over fifteen years, he was the Charles P. Stevenson Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College. He was the David and Marianna Fisher University Professor and professor of Africana studies at Brown University. Chinua Achebe wrote over twenty books - novels, short stories, essays and collections of poetry - and received numerous honours from around the world, including the Honourary Fellowship of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as honourary doctorates from more than thirty colleges and universities. He was also the recipient of Nigeria's highest award for intellectual achievement, the Nigerian National Merit Award. In 2007, he won the Man Booker International Prize for Fiction. He died in 2013.