Professor Ernest Emenyonu, a specialist in African Literature, University of Michigan-Flint, and the editor of African Literature Today (ALT), hosted some young and established writers at his country home in Mbieri, Imo State, sometime in 2005. Over scrumptious meals and ice-cold drinks, he decried the dearth of literature on the Nigerian civil war. If I can still clearly recall, he threw a challenge to us and made us understand that a country that tries to suppress and erase its past, regardless of how bloody it was, might just as well be paving way for another round of bloodshed in future.
I flirted with the idea of penning a short story set against the backdrop of Biafra then, maybe it was the effects of satiety or inebriation. I can’t quite tell. But, well, thanks to the phenomenal success of the influential Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (excerpt here), my spirits flagged shortly afterwards and the rest of my scribble or story flew straight to the bin. Or history.
This brings me to another influential civil war novel. The multi-award winning writer, Professor Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo will be revisiting the horrid memories of the Nigerian civil war in her starkly impressive novel, Roses and Bullets. You can read an excerpt here.or buy the Kindle version at.
Akachi will be the Guest Writer at the Abuja Writers Forum (AWF), at the Pen and Pages Bookstore, White House Plaza, Plot 79, Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja. It is an initiative of Dr Emman Shehu and it has featured an exciting array of emerging and established writers, me included. The event is slated for June 25, 2011 by 16:00 – 18.30. You can read more about Akachi and the Jalaa Writers’ Collective here.
Meanwhile, as you get ready to attend Akachi’s reading, say a prayer for the victims, both dead and living, trapped in a country in the time of bomb blasts and unbridled bloodletting.