Paperback review: There Was a Country, By Chinua Achebe
Sunday 07 July 2013
The country was the breakaway Republic of Biafra, which seceded from Nigeria in 1967, in response to the continuing persecution of the Igbo people.
For three years they fought to maintain independence, in a brutal war during which many civilians died of starvation, with no help from the West, and especially not from the then British prime minister, Harold Wilson.
Chinua Achebe was in the thick of events and his book is a fine example of witness literature, combining personal reminiscence, history, and poetry. Achebe’s style is simple and direct, almost matter-of-fact at times, but it’s this very plainness which gives the book its moral force. Biafra was eventually re-absorbed into federal Nigeria, but, as Achebe made clear in this, his last book, the scars are a long time healing.
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Crystal meth addict 'gouged out his eyes and ate them' while high on drug, Australian MP claims
- 2 As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
- 3 The ten most unequal developed countries in the world
- 4 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 5 Toddler throws a tantrum at the White House – in front of Barack Obama
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland