There Was a Country

There Was a Country Cover

There Was a Country

By Chinua Achebe

Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143124030, 333pp.

Publication Date: September 24, 2013

Description
From the legendary author of "Things Fall Apart" 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 1967 1970, addressing them only obliquely through his poetry. Now, decades in the making, comes a towering account of one of modern Africa'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 Achebe's place as one of the great literary and moral voices of our age.


About the Author
Chinua Achebe was born in Nigeria in 1930. He has published novels, short stories, essays, and children s books. His volume of poetry "Christmas in Biafra" was the joint winner of the first Commonwealth Poetry Prize. Of his novels, "Arrow of God "won the "New Statesman"-Jock Campbell Award, and "Anthills of the Savannah" was a finalist for the 1987 Man Booker Prize. "Things Fall Apart," Achebe s masterpiece, has been published in fifty different languages and has sold more than ten million copies internationally since its first publication in 1958. Achebe is the recipient of the Nigerian National Merit Award, Nigeria s highest award for intellectual achievement. In 2007, he won the Man Booker International Prize. He died in March 2013."


Praise For There Was a Country




"Foreign Policy Must Read 2012" by Books from Global Thinkers

“Chinua Achebe’s history of Biafra is a meditation on the condition of freedom. It has the tense narrative grip of the best fiction. It is also a revelatory entry into the intimate character of the writer’s brilliant mind and bold spirit. Achebe has created here a new genre of literature in which politico-historical evidence, the power of story-telling, and revelations from the depths of the human subconscious are one. The event of a new work by Chinua Achebe is always extraordinary; this one exceeds all expectation.”—Nadine Gordimer, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature



“A fascinating and gripping memoir.” —The Wall Street Journal



There Was a Country ought to be essential reading…an eclectic range of insights and fascinating anecdotes.”—Financial Times



“Achebe writes in a characteristically modest fashion…Like much of Achebe’s other work, this book about the progress of war and the presence of violence has a universal quality. In a world where sectarian hatreds augmented by political mediocrity have fractured Syria and threaten to bring Israel and Iran to blows, There Was a Country is a valuable account of how the suffering caused by war is both unnecessary and formative.”—Newsweek

"Memoir and history are brought together by a master storyteller."
The Guardian