There Was A Country: Chinua Achebe’s Personal History of Biafra

FINALLY! I have finished reading this book. This book is not the kind of book a lot of people can read in 2 or 3 days and I am one of those people. There is so much information to process. Reading this book once does not do it any justice. I’ll have to read it again but that will be some other time. He is such a great author and when I get the chance, I will order all of the Chinua Achebe books possible. I am hoping to read the remaining books of his trilogy and The Trouble With Nigeria. The next war with a book I have to conquer will be Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah. 

Chinua Achebe’s funeral was last week. May his soul rest in peace. Here is a link to the pictures from his funeral on the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-22646370

I am grateful that before he died, he was able to write about the civil war. I have been going to Nigeria on holiday since I was 11 and went to secondary school there but I was first made aware of Biafra when I read Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Adichie. The funny thing is that I came across Half of a Yellow Sun by chance. It was displayed in my local Waterstones bookstore. This is an important part of Nigerian history that should be taught to the younger generations but from the opinions and comments that I have read on the internet, there are people that would rather it be swept under the rug. I’m not surprised that people don’t want to talk about it. There is already enough ethnic tension in Nigeria. This occurs mainly between Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa people. This ethnic tension is really unfortunate and is one of the main reasons why Nigeria is the way it is today. Like I have mentioned a million times before 😉 , I am Igbo and while reading this I did feel sadness for the people who lost their lives and had to move about constantly to flee from the Nigerian army’s attacks. I felt it the most for the children who starved to death. It was the children that suffered the most. However, this book did not incite in me any anger towards other tribes.

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Things Fall Apart

I’ve been reading Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. This is a good book and I recommend that anyone who hasn’t read it should go ahead and try it. I didn’t really like it at first but the detail about Okonkwo and his father was necessary.

As a character, Okonkwo has many layers. He is quick to anger, dismisses fear and weakness in men as being effeminate and is not open to change. He did questionable things and was part of a clan that also did questionable things. I did understand, however, where he was coming from with the imposition of the missionaries and their government. When you are set in your ways it is hard to get accustomed to new things and having them imposed on you in certain aspects does not help matters.

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