He is such a good writer, his omissions can be forgiven, maybe? I loved reading the book. It is short, sentences are well-crafted, anecdotes from his experiences told with gusto. He experienced awful stuff. But the omissions… I loved this excellent analysis by Richard Shain comparing Sunset in Biafra (published in 173 shortly after the war) with Ken Saro-Wiwa Sozaboy (which I shall have to order from the library, sounds like a precursor to Allah N’est Pas Obligé that I was unaware of). Shain has interesting take on the final sentence, “I picked up my father the next day just four miles from home. Clad in a tattered ancient black overcoat, and with a white beard, he was pushing his bicycle along with steps made remarkably steady by his proximity to his ancestral home. He did not weep as he hugged me, but I knew he felt more than everybody else.” But I interpreted it as typical Amadi: he loves to have a last sentence encapsulate the whole novel. The Biafra war, from Amadi’s experience, is almost unintelligible; there is nothing to say about it, about how the world was upended in a non-sensical way. For people like Amadi’s father, there were no words for the folly, just feeling.
Blogs I Follow
- Walter Isaacson, The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race
- The Corner that Held Them, by Sylvia Townsend Warner
- Flux, by Jinwoo Chong
- V.V. Ganeshananthan’s novel “Brotherless Night”
- Making New People: Politics, Cinema, and Liberation in Burkina Faso, 1983-1987, by James E. Genova
Friends of African Village Libraries (I post regularly here)
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