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There Was a Country


From the legendary author of Things Fall Apart comes this long-awaited memoir recalling Chinua Achebe's personal experiences of and reflections on the Biafran War, one of Nigeria's most tragic civil wars

Chinua Achebe, the author of Things Fall Apart, was a writer whose moral courage and storytelling gifts have left an enduring stamp on world literature. There Was a Country was his long-awaited account of coming of age during the defining experience of his life: the Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War of 1967-1970. It became infamous around the world for its impact on the Biafrans, who were starved to death by the Nigerian government in one of the twentieth century's greatest humanitarian disasters.

Caught up in the atrocities were Chinua Achebe and his young family. Achebe, already a world-renowned novelist, served his Biafran homeland as a roving cultural ambassador, witnessing the war's full horror first-hand. Immediately after the war, he took an academic post in the United States, and for over forty years he maintained a considered silence on those terrible years, addressing them only obliquely through his poetry. After years in the making There Was A Country presents his towering reckoning with one of modern Africa's most fateful experiences, both as he lived it and came to understand it.

Marrying history and memoir, with the author's poetry woven throughout, There Was a Country is a distillation of vivid observation and considered research and reflection. It relates Nigeria's birth pangs in the context of Achebe's own development as a man and a writer, and examines the role of the artist in times of war.

Reviews:

'No writer is better placed than Chinua Achebe to tell the story of the Nigerian Biafran war ... [The book] makes you pine for the likes of Achebe to govern ... We have in There Was a Country an elegy from a master storyteller who has witnessed the undulating fortunes of a nation' Noo Saro-Wiwa, Guardian

'Chinua Achebe's history of Biafra is a meditation on the condition of freedom. 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

'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

About the author:

Chinua Achebe was born in Nigeria in 1930. He published novels, short stories, essays, and children's books. His volume of poetry, Christmas in Biafra, was the joint winner of the first Commonwealth Poetry Prize. Of his novels, Arrow of God won the New Statesman-Jock Campbell Award, and Anthills of the Savannah was a finalist for the 1987 Booker Prize. Things Fall Apart, Achebe's masterpiece, has been published in fifty different languages and has sold more than ten million copies. Achebe lectured widely, receiving many honors from around the world. He was the recipient of the Nigerian National Merit Award, Nigeria's highest award for intellectual achievement. In 2007, he won the Man Booker International Prize. He died in 2013.

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  • Auteur : Chinua Achebe
  • Éditeur : Penguin
  • Date de parution : 27/09/12
  • EAN : 9780141973678
  • Format : ePub
  • Nombre de pages: 352
  • Protection : Contenu protégé

Résumé

From the legendary author of Things Fall Apart comes this long-awaited memoir recalling Chinua Achebe's personal experiences of and reflections on the Biafran War, one of Nigeria's most tragic civil wars

Chinua Achebe, the author of Things Fall Apart, was a writer whose moral courage and storytelling gifts have left an enduring stamp on world literature. There Was a Country was his long-awaited account of coming of age during the defining experience of his life: the Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War of 1967-1970. It became infamous around the world for its impact on the Biafrans, who were starved to death by the Nigerian government in one of the twentieth century's greatest humanitarian disasters.

Caught up in the atrocities were Chinua Achebe and his young family. Achebe, already a world-renowned novelist, served his Biafran homeland as a roving cultural ambassador, witnessing the war's full horror first-hand. Immediately after the war, he took an academic post in the United States, and for over forty years he maintained a considered silence on those terrible years, addressing them only obliquely through his poetry. After years in the making There Was A Country presents his towering reckoning with one of modern Africa's most fateful experiences, both as he lived it and came to understand it.

Marrying history and memoir, with the author's poetry woven throughout, There Was a Country is a distillation of vivid observation and considered research and reflection. It relates Nigeria's birth pangs in the context of Achebe's own development as a man and a writer, and examines the role of the artist in times of war.

Reviews:

'No writer is better placed than Chinua Achebe to tell the story of the Nigerian Biafran war ... [The book] makes you pine for the likes of Achebe to govern ... We have in There Was a Country an elegy from a master storyteller who has witnessed the undulating fortunes of a nation' Noo Saro-Wiwa, Guardian

'Chinua Achebe's history of Biafra is a meditation on the condition of freedom. 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

'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

About the author:

Chinua Achebe was born in Nigeria in 1930. He published novels, short stories, essays, and children's books. His volume of poetry, Christmas in Biafra, was the joint winner of the first Commonwealth Poetry Prize. Of his novels, Arrow of God won the New Statesman-Jock Campbell Award, and Anthills of the Savannah was a finalist for the 1987 Booker Prize. Things Fall Apart, Achebe's masterpiece, has been published in fifty different languages and has sold more than ten million copies. Achebe lectured widely, receiving many honors from around the world. He was the recipient of the Nigerian National Merit Award, Nigeria's highest award for intellectual achievement. In 2007, he won the Man Booker International Prize. He died in 2013.

Biographie de 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.

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