Chinua Achebe’s Memoirs set for release in September 2012
Renowned Nigerian novelist of ‘Things Fall Apart’, Chinua Achebe has put together recollections of personal experiences he had during the era of Biafra in a new memoir.
There is no doubt, Albert Chinualumogu Achebe’s upcoming memoirs There Was a Country, A Personal History of Biafra, is arguably the most anticipated African book launch since the dawn of this millennium.
“There Was A Country, A Personal History of Biafra” is published by Penguin and is set to be released on September 6, 2012. Professor Achebe reckons with one of Africa’s most fateful events, the Nigerian-Biafran war, which began on July 6, 1967 and ended on January 1970 – an attempted secession of Nigeria’s southeastern province as the self-proclaimed Republic of Biafra.
Penguin books’ synopsis describes There Was a Country as “marrying history and memoir, poetry and prose, a distillation of vivid firsthand observation and forty years of research and reflection. Wise, humane and authoritative, it will stand as definitive and reinforce Achebe’s place as one of the most vital literary and moral voices of our age.”
Popularly known as Chinua Achebe, the legendary author of “Things Fall Apart” is considered among the most significant writers in the world. “Things Fall Apart,” published in 1958 was not only a literary masterpiece but became required required reading for high school students all over the world.
According to a Brown University African Studies Department website profile of Achebe, “Things Fall Apart” has sold over 12 million copies and been translated into over 50 languages. Achebe is the David and Marianna Fisher University Professor of African Studies at Brown University in Providence, RI.
Though Prof. Achebe, 82 is mostly known worldwide for “Things Fall Apart,” he is also renowned in literary circles for his brilliant work as founding editor of the Heinemann African Writers Series which was founded in 1962 to provide a forum for many post-independence African writers, and “provided texts with which many African universities could begin to redress the colonial bias then prominent in the teaching of literature.”
In addition to editing over one hundred titles for the Heinemann Series he also edited the University of Nsukka journal Nsukkascope and founded Okike: A Nigerian Journal of New Writing and assisted in the founding of a publishing house, Nwamife Books–an organization responsible for publishing other groundbreaking work by award-winning writers.
Prof. Achebe could not be reached for comment for this article but his niece Dr. Ngozi Achebe, MD – a physician based in Olympia, WA also an author (Onaedo: the Blacksmith’s Daughter, 2010) looks forward to the book’s release. “This book, “There was a Country”, is of course one of the most anticipated books of our times and will hopefully shed more light on the events surrounding the most important period in the history of Nigeria, even of Africa and the world at large. The plight of the Biafran people divided and simultaneously brought people together around a complex situation that was a forerunner of similar events,” said Dr. Achebe.
Prof. Achebe who has been called “the father of modern African writing” in November 2011 for the second time rejected the Nigerian government’s attempts to bestow upon him a national honor, the Commander of the Federal Republic after he first declined to accept the same award in 2004.
In a statement he issued to the Nigerian press, Prof. Achebe said that he was turning down the award because “the reasons for rejecting the offer when it was first made have not been addressed let alone solved. It is inappropriate to offer it again to me”.
For more information on Prof. Achebe’s There Was a Country, go to Penguin Books website.
Biafra, officially the Republic of Biafra, was a secessionist state in south-eastern Nigeria that existed from 30 May 1967 to 15 January 1970, taking its name from the Bight of Biafra. More on Wikipedia.
The Nigerian-Biafran War, also known as the Nigerian Civil War, – which took place from the 6th of July 1967–15th January 1970 – was a political conflict caused by the attempted secession of the southeastern provinces of Nigeria as the self-proclaimed Republic of Biafra. The conflict was the result of economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions among the various peoples of Nigeria. -According to Wikipedia.