February 23, 2020
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Slice Of Biafra

Her voice is ageless, her insights both sharp and compassionate, and she reaffirms in this second novel a commitment to recording the memories of Africa, by Africans

Slice Of Biafra
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+0553
Half of a Yellow Sun
By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
HarperCollins Pages: 448; Rs. 295
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a compelling writer not only because she can put together stirring sentences but also because she has found her subject and purpose in telling stories from Africa and her Nigerian cultural heritage. Her first novel, Purple Hibiscus, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize in 2004; her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, deservedly won it.

The title refers to a national flag sewn to the sleeve of an army uniform that existed for a few stormy years between 1967 and 1970, when the largely Igbo people of southeastern Nigeria seceded and briefly won recognition as the independent nation of Biafra.

Adichie tells the story of the passionate struggle for that nation and the tragedies of the civil war that ensued through five strongly drawn characters: the beautiful Olanna; her hard-edged but charismatic twin sister Kainene; Olanna’s husband, the radical university professor Odenigbo; their houseboy Ugwu; and Kainene’s English lover Richard Churchill.

Adichie’s political sensibility is balanced by instinctively poised storytelling. Her voice is ageless, her insights both sharp and compassionate, and she reaffirms in this second novel a commitment to recording the memories of Africa, by Africans.

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