09 Feb Nine Fascinating books (novels) about Biafran War
Do you wish to know about the Biafran war? Here are some literary works that will show you all you crave packaged as fiction and non-fiction.
Nine Fascinating books (novels) about Biafran War
Since the end of the Nigerian Civil War, known in some quarters as the Biafran War, which took place from 1967 to 1970, Nigeria had intentionally hidden the cause of the war or kept its citizens away from the history of the war, leaving people with little knowledge of the war to write about the unfortunate events that led to it.
Nevertheless, every literate Nigerian believes ethnic clashes that reached their culmination in 1967 to be the major cause of the war without also considering the role the January 15, 1966 coup played in causing the war.
Since the war ended on January 15, 1970, nothing about the war has made it into the Nigerian history book as a result of Nigeria’s desperate quest to prevent such a catastrophe of that magnitude from befalling it again. It’s glaring and important to note that a country where its citizens are ignorant of its dark past is likely to encounter a similar fate it’s concealing for its citizens at an unknown time in the future. Having a glimpse of what’s unfolding in Nigeria today will make you concur with this saying and know that what pushed the nation into civil war 50 years ago remains unaddressed to date.
Since the country is strictly bent on concealing its dark past from its citizens; nonetheless, several authors have resorted to writing the history of the war implicitly through fiction. Some of the books listed here chronicle the real experiences of the authors during the war. In this way, some important facts about the war are revealed.
If you’re in search of books about the Biafran war, Nigerian-Biafran war, formally known as the Nigerian Civil War, this article will highlight some great books by great authors about the 30-month war.
1. Survive the Peace (1976)— Cyprian Ekwensu
Caught in the war along with other writers from the East origin, Ekwensu tries to dive into the struggle the survivors of the war had to face. Yeah, you have survived the mass murder or genocide committed by the poorly trained soldiers of the Nigerian Army. The question then becomes, can you survive what follows the end of the war? The novel is set at the end of the war. It is about a famous journalist and propagandist, James Odigo, who was entrusted with local radio to parrot the positive sides of the Biafran State.
2. Half of a Yellow Sun(2003)— Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The title embodies Biafra, its flag, and the suffering of those innocent children starved by the Nigerian government in their course to winning the war. Although she was born seven years after the war, the author still feels the impact of the war. Unlike authors like Achebe, Ekwensi, Chukwuemeka Ike, etc., who wrote on the side of personal witnesses, Chimamanda relied on interviews to deliver one of the best significant works on the Biafran war.
3. There was a Country (2012) — Chinua Achebe
Achebe concealed his feelings in silence for four decades since the war ended. However, in 2012, he released a book chronicling his experience in the war, the cause of the war, and other notable facts about the war.
4. The Biafran Story — Frederick Forsyth
Forsyth is a British journalist for the BBC. He witnessed the first six months of the war in Biafra, where he was covering the war, for the BBC. The book marked his transition from a journalist to a writer as he made efforts to reveal the great violence and cruelty unleashed on the poor Biafran civilians by Nigeria with Western support, specifically, Britain.
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5. Never Again (1976)— Flora Nwapa
The first Nigerian novelist, Flora Nwapa, wrote her story based on the experience of her people in Oguta.
6. The Man Died — Wole Soyinka
Soyinka unapologetically sided with Biafra’s cause and heavily criticized the Nigerian government over its atrocities in Biafra; consequently, he was arrested and detained unlawfully for twenty-two months by the Nigerian military government. In his life in military confinement, Soyinka eased his pain by writing poems that excoriates and reveals the nefarious activities of the Nigerian government in Biafra.
7. Sunset in Biafra — Elechi Amadi
Amadi poured his personal experience in the war into this non-fictional work. In Sunset in Biafra, Amadi classifies Igbo as over-ambitious people who in their journey to achieve their aim, embroiled other minority tribes in Old Eastern Region into the war. Sunset in Biafra is eminent due to its distinct perspective from the majority of other contemporaneous works on the Biafran War.
8. The Nigerian Revolution and the Biafran War— Alexander Madiebo
A general in the Biafran war and an intimate friend of Ojukwu, Madiebo, emerged after years of reading several books about the war to give first-hand details of the war to clear all conflicting facts out there about the war. Like other authors who wrote from personal experience of the war, Madiebo as a general in Biafra was more positioned to give readers deeper details many other writers might miss in their works.
9. Because I am Involved (1989) — Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu
Of course, Ojukwu wrote a book to separate facts from myths about the war. Courageous, charismatic, and controversial Ojukwu, was the leader of the no-longer-existent Biafra. Ojukwu, after a disagreement with Gowon over the issue of Igbo people, broke away from Nigeria to form a republic that came to be known as Biafra. He said most of the things you crave to know about Biafra in this book.