Book review: There Was a Country, By Chinua Achebe
Boyd Tonkin is Literary Editor at The Independent. An award-winning journalist, he was formerly Social Policy Editor of the New Statesman and has broadcast extensively for BBC arts and current affairs programmes. He has judged the Booker Prize, the Whitbread biography award, the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the David Cohen Prize for a lifetime's achievement in literature.
Friday 12 July 2013
The pioneering Nigerian novelist, a moral mentor to his nation, died this year but left us with this relaxed, intimate - and acute - "personal history of Biafra".
In fact, Achebe does much more than recount the blundering horrors of the 1960s civil war. He recalls his Igbo childhood and culture, reflects on colonialism and its aftermath, and castigates the curses of militarism and corruption.
Fresh-painted memories enliven even sombre events: such as his tribute to the poet-soldier – Africa's Wilfred Owen – Christopher Okigbo.
X Factor judge will appear in court later this month
The Google future, including microphones in every ceiling and data sent directly to your brain
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Gurdwaras-turned-food banks: Sikh temples are catering for rise in Britain’s hungry
- 2 Council bans use of word ‘Commie’ – but ‘fascist’ and ‘Nazi’ are fine
- 3 The poorest pay the price for austerity: Workers face biggest fall in living standards since Victorian era
- 4 Newly vegan Beyoncé wears fox fur to dine in meat free restaurant
- 5 'I'm experiencing austerity as well', says Princess Michael of Kent
- < Previous
- Next >