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Download There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra, by Chinua Achebe Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Chinua Achebe Narrator: Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaj Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From the legendary author of Things Fall Apart comes a long-awaited 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 the war, Achebe took refuge in an academic post in the United States. For more than forty years, he has maintained a 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.

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.
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Quotes & Awards

  • “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 storytelling, 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

  • “Achebe’s prose is the equivalent of a steadying hand. Elegant and avuncular, his words gradually guide the reader from a jolly account of his youth in Igbo land, his education and his nascent literary career, to his harrowing experiences of the war.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Achebe writes in a characteristically modest fashion...Like much of Achebe’s other work, this book...has a universal quality...There Was a Country is a valuable account of how the suffering caused by war is both unnecessary and formative.”


  • “Memoir and history are brought together by a master storyteller.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “A brave, clear-sighted treatment of the political background and brutal reality of the Nigerian-Biafran War.”

    Telegraph (London)

  • “In a work that is part memoir and part history, Chinua Achebe tells not only his own story but also the story of his country, Nigeria. Listening to Akinnuoye-Agbaje’s fully credible African accent, one can hardly believe he was born and raised in London. His deep Nigerian tone transports the listener. He delivers African names with a natural ease. And his slow pacing and perfect diction allow the listener to easily follow the harrowing story of the Nigerian civil war...Author and narrator are perfectly paired in a moving production that will stay with the listener long after the final word is spoken.”


  • “Achebe’s book will appeal to scholars of Africa, but its reach will extend to all readers interested in learning more about the author’s life and the life of his country.”

    Library Journal

  • “A powerful memoir/document of a terrible conflict and its toll on the people who endured it.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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