About this writer
After a long silence, (the late) literary icon Achebe returned to the scene with this long awaited memoir, released in October 2012 and published by Penguin Press HC. There Was a Country centers around the defining experience of Achebe’s life – the tragic Nigerian civil war, also known as the Biafran War, of 1967–1970. The conflict was infamous for its savage impact on the Biafran people, Chinua Achebe’s people, many of whom were starved to death after the Nigerian government blockaded their borders.
Achebe took the Biafran side in the conflict and in this memoir, he relates his experience of the war, both as he lived it and how he has come to understand it. This is a first-hand account, in which Achebe draws on his own observations and forty years of research.
As expected, the book drew plenty of debate in Nigeria, and even Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie jumped into the fray.