Writing Biafra: Adichie, Emecheta and the Dilemmas of Biafran War Fiction

Hugh Hodges


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Half of a Yellow Sun quite explicitly
responds to earlier fictions of the Biafran war, including Buchi
Emecheta's Destination Biafra, Chukwuemeka Ike's Sunset at Dawn, and Eddie Iroh's The Siren in the Night. As an oeuvre, Biafran war fiction seems to have been characterized by – and frequently defeated by - its desire for what Eddie Iroh calls "an unbiased, total assessment of the whole great tragedy." Half of a Yellow Sun negotiates the dilemmas implicit in fictionalizing war more successfully than most of its predecessors precisely because it dramatizes its own incompleteness, its inability to fully comprehend (in both senses of the word) the events it narrates.


Adichie, Nigeria, Biafra, war fiction

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