Poetry Madness
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    Beyond the Headlines | March 6, 2015

    Rhianna Walton: IMG Beyond the Headlines: How to Visit Cuba



    Ever since President Obama's December announcement that the United States is resuming full diplomatic ties with Cuba, the Powell's buyers' office... Continue »

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$10.98
List price: $27.95
Sale Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
2 Beaverton Literature- A to Z
2 Hawthorne Literature- A to Z

There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra

by

There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra Cover

ISBN13: 9781594204821
ISBN10: 1594204829
Condition:
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the legendary author of Things Fall Apart comes a longawaited memoir about coming of age with a fragile new nation, then watching it torn asunder in a tragic civil war

The defining experience of Chinua Achebe’s life was the 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. By then, Chinua Achebe was already a world-renowned novelist, with a young family to protect. He took the Biafran side in the conflict and served his government as a roving cultural ambassador, from which vantage he absorbed the war’s full horror. Immediately after, Achebe took refuge in an academic post in the United States, and for more than forty years he has maintained a considered silence on the events of those terrible years, addressing them only obliquely through his poetry. Now, decades in the making, comes a towering reckoning with one of modern Africa’s most fateful events, from a writer whose words and courage have left an enduring stamp on world literature.

Achebe masterfully relates his experience, bothas he lived it and how he has come to understand it. He begins his story with Nigeria’s birth pangs and the story of his own upbringing as a man and as a writer so that we might come to understand the country’s promise, which turned to horror when the hot winds of hatred began to stir. To read There Was a Country is to be powerfully reminded that artists have a particular obligation, especially during a time of war. All writers, Achebe argues, should be committed writers—they should speak for their history, their beliefs, and their people.

Marrying history and memoir, poetry and prose, There Was a Country is 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.

Review:

"Achebe's reminiscences of Biafra, a country whichthat spent the entirety of its brief existence, from 1967 to 1970, in civil war with Nigeria, result in an uneasy mix of history and memoir. After an insightful, masterful account of his education, his attention wavers between the individual and the international without settling on a steady tone. Readers will find his legendary gift with imagery in several poems, as well as in details such as Biafran citizens being warned against wearing the colorful clothing most visible to Nigerian bombers, a brilliantly selected example of war's reach into the previously mundane. But the narrative as a whole never coalesces, and after Biafra declares independence it keeps swinging abruptly between the trivial and the heart-stopping: Achebe never unpacks; he tries to stay alive; his wife employs men to redecorate. Nagging questions remain at the end about his stance towards the conflict, during which he served as cultural ambassador for Biafra, while a closing call for 'patriotic consciousness' to overcome Nigeria's current problems fails to convince. Only in a concluding poem does Achebe put his finger on the main theme of this stubbornly loyal celebration of unfulfilled possibility: 'haunted revelry.' Agent: Andrew Wylie, The Wylie Agency. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

From the legendary author of Things Fall Apartand#151;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 has maintained a considered silence on the events of the Nigerian civil war, also known as the Biafran War, of 1967and#150;1970, addressing them only obliquely through his poetry. Now, decades in the making, comes a towering account of one of modern Africaand#8217;s most disastrous events, from a writer whose words and courage have 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 Achebeand#8217;s place as one of the great literary and moral voices of our age.

About the Author

Chinua Achebe

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

somuadina, October 25, 2012 (view all comments by somuadina)
There was a country called Biafra and there will be a country called Biafra.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9781594204821
Author:
Achebe, Chinua
Publisher:
Penguin Press
Author:
Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Adewale
Subject:
Africa
Subject:
World History-Africa
Subject:
Biography-Literary
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20121031
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
b/w maps
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8.44 x 5.5 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

Other books you might like

  1. The Watchers: A Secret History of... Used Trade Paper $13.95
  2. Now All Roads Lead to France: A Life... New Hardcover $29.95
  3. Wabi Sabi: The Art of Everyday Life Used Trade Paper $4.50
  4. Why Nations Fail: The Origins of... Used Trade Paper $11.95

Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Literary
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » New Arrivals
History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » World History » Africa
History and Social Science » World History » General

There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra Sale Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.98 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Penguin Press Hcity Press - English 9781594204821 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Achebe's reminiscences of Biafra, a country whichthat spent the entirety of its brief existence, from 1967 to 1970, in civil war with Nigeria, result in an uneasy mix of history and memoir. After an insightful, masterful account of his education, his attention wavers between the individual and the international without settling on a steady tone. Readers will find his legendary gift with imagery in several poems, as well as in details such as Biafran citizens being warned against wearing the colorful clothing most visible to Nigerian bombers, a brilliantly selected example of war's reach into the previously mundane. But the narrative as a whole never coalesces, and after Biafra declares independence it keeps swinging abruptly between the trivial and the heart-stopping: Achebe never unpacks; he tries to stay alive; his wife employs men to redecorate. Nagging questions remain at the end about his stance towards the conflict, during which he served as cultural ambassador for Biafra, while a closing call for 'patriotic consciousness' to overcome Nigeria's current problems fails to convince. Only in a concluding poem does Achebe put his finger on the main theme of this stubbornly loyal celebration of unfulfilled possibility: 'haunted revelry.' Agent: Andrew Wylie, The Wylie Agency. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,
From the legendary author of Things Fall Apartand#151;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 has maintained a considered silence on the events of the Nigerian civil war, also known as the Biafran War, of 1967and#150;1970, addressing them only obliquely through his poetry. Now, decades in the making, comes a towering account of one of modern Africaand#8217;s most disastrous events, from a writer whose words and courage have 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 Achebeand#8217;s place as one of the great literary and moral voices of our age.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.