THERE WAS A COUNTRY…

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 Banji Ojewale remembers Chinua Achebe, novelist, poet, and author of Things Fall Apart

In the distant past, you wouldn’t talk about Chinua Achebe without instant reference to his mountaintop novel, “Things fall apart.” He was inseparable from this literary creature that outstripped its creator. But Achebe was lucky: he was spared the tragedy of bringing forth a monster, which would fatally prey on its Frankenstein god. Achebe’s own genie was genial. Upon escape from the bottle-cage, it gave the illustrious novelist a new identity tag: Africa’s foremost storyteller.

However, 2012 would deliver another lingering literary lease to this great man of letters. He wrote, “There was a country: a personal history of Biafra.” More than five decades had passed to serve as a hiatus between the book of Achebe’s youth and the new product of his advanced age. Both were mileposts, the one, his first published novel (1958), and the other, his last huge work before his…



Source: Thisday Newspaper