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Monday, 8 October 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012
"There Was A Country" by Chinua Achebe
Penguin, $27.95
October 11, 2012

What is it about?
Achebe, the author of the widely read "Things Fall Apart," in addition to scores of other stories and poems, chronicles the events surrounding the Nigerian Civil War, a three-year battle lasting from 1967-1970 and directly involving the author's home and family. Already a noted writer at the time, Achebe supported Biafran independence. This book describes the state of the country prior to war, so that readers can understand its potential, and carries on through the monstrous violence that took place.

Why are we talking about it?
Achebe's opus, "Things Fall Apart," is a classic that we very much enjoy. His criticism has made a splash in the past, too: In 1975, he gave a lecture on racism in "The Heart of Darkness" that caused controversy. We admire his ability to write non-fiction in a manner that is both poetic and declarative.

Who wrote it?
Achebe was born in southeastern Nigeria in 1930 to Christian parents. As a child, he took an interest in literature and world religions. His most popular book is a short novel called "Things Fall Apart," which is critical of British colonialism in Africa. Achebe writes all of his novels in English, and supports the use of English by African writers in spite of the stigma surrounding it. He acted as an ambassador for the Biafran people during the Nigerian Civil War, but left for America out of frustrations shortly thereafter. He is currently a Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University.

Who will read it?
Those wishing to learn more about African history, those interested in war stories, fans of non-fiction.

What do the reviewers say?

Click here to read more about "There Was A Country"

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