At 82, renowned novelist, poet,professor and critic, Chinua Achebe is obviously not planning to retire anytime soon. Literature and art lovers would be excited to know that the writer would soon be releasing a novel titled, ‘There Was a Country’ which takes a look at what life was like during the Biafra era.
The book which is a semi-autobiographical recollection of the Biafran War in Nigeria is a way for the author to describe his experience and share the traumatic details of a very disturbing war which he has till now, kept to himself. Achebe–who had previously restricted his war recollections to a few poems–narrates his experience, as he lived it and how he has come to understand it.
When the war began, Achebe was already a well- known writer but he played his part in the conflict by protecting his family and his people and serving the Biafran government as cultural ambassador. It was there he witnessed the killings first hand and watched the war’s full horror.
‘There Was a Country’ will provide new insights into the controversial claims and counter-claims that have been spoken or documented of the Nigerian civil war, which was fought between 1967 and 1970.
In the book, the literary icon has managed to compress 40 years of research and personal experience in 256 pages. No wonder despite his rejecting the title, he is still referred to as ‘The father of African literature’ at 82 years old.
The book which is published by Allen Lane would be released on the 6th of September this year.