There Was a Country: A Memoir

Front Cover
Penguin, Oct 11, 2012 - History - 352 pages
From the legendary author of Things Fall Apart—a long-awaited memoir of coming of age in a fragile new nation, and its destruction in a tragic civil war

For more than forty years, Chinua Achebe maintained a considered silence on the events of the Nigerian civil war, also known as the Biafran War, of 1967–1970, addressing them only obliquely through his poetry. Decades in the making, There Was a Country is a towering account of one of modern Africa’s most disastrous events, from a writer whose words and courage left an enduring stamp on world literature. A marriage of history and memoir, vivid firsthand observation and decades of research and reflection, There Was a Country is a work whose wisdom and compassion remind us of Chinua Achebe’s place as one of the great literary and moral voices of our age.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - elkiedee - LibraryThing

This book is a mixture of memoir and history of the Biafran War of 1967-1970, hence Achebe's description of it as a "personal history", an account of events from the perspective of himself and his ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - m.belljackson - LibraryThing

The pain and horror of the loss of his country pervade Chinua Achebe's personal and historical account of the Biafra War in Nigeria. FRIENDS: Ivory Coast, Gabon, Tanzania, Netherlands (?), MLK and ... Read full review

Contents

Pioneers of a New Frontier
7
A Primary Exposure
15
Meeting Christie and Her Family
30
A Lucky Generation
39
PostIndependence Nigeria
48
The Decline
51
poem
62
Benin Road poem
73
Daddy Dont Let Him Die
183
Laughed at Him poem
196
Paſtures poem
204
The Silence of the United Nations 2
215
and The Fall
222
The Question of Genocide
228
Gowon Responds
236
A Reappraisal
243

Countercoup and Assassination
80
Generation Gap poem
90
The UK France
99
Traveling on Behalf of Biafra
160
Refugee Mother and Child
168
Air Raid poem
175
Corruption and Indiscipline
249
The Example of Nelson Mandela
257
Notes
267
Index
321
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Chinua Achebe (1930–2013) was born in Nigeria. Widely considered to be the father of modern African literature, he is best known for his masterful African Trilogy, consisting of Things Fall Apart, Arrow of God, and No Longer at Ease. The trilogy tells the story of a single Nigerian community over three generations from first colonial contact to urban migration and the breakdown of traditional cultures. He is also the author of Anthills of the SavannahA Man of the PeopleGirls at War and Other StoriesHome and ExileHopes and ImpedimentsCollected PoemsThe Education of a British-Protected ChildChike and the River, and There Was a Country. He was the David and Marianna Fisher University Professor and Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University and, for more than fifteen years, was the Charles P. Stevenson Jr. Professor of Languages and Literature at Bard College. Achebe was the recipient of the Nigerian National Merit Award, Nigeria’s highest award for intellectual achievement. In 2007, Achebe was awarded the Man Booker International Prize for lifetime achievement.

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