Half of a Yellow Sun, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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The Independent Culture

Set during the Biafran war of 1967-70, in which two and a half million Nigerians died, this magnificent novel is a gripping portrayal of the horrors of war: the upheaval, the hunger and the brutalising fear. It's also packed with memorable characters, from houseboys to the cocktail-drinking coteries of the super-rich. A major new African voice.