The novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
“Half of a Yellow Sun.” a book by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a beautiful and classy woman, an eloquent speaker, and a renowned Nigerian writer.
The title of the book is from the half image of the sun on the Biafran flag, and the book is a historical fiction inspired by the Nigerian civil war that occurred in the late 1960s. A war that is widely known as the Biafra war.
Although the book was published in 2006 and it’s well known globally, it’s still worth reading in 2020 and beyond.
The characters in this book are well crafted that they feel real to the reader. From Ugwu, a thirteen years old houseboy. To Richard, a shy young English man who moved to Nigeria for his love for Igbo-Ukwu art of the Igbo people. From Odenigbo, a professor and a revolution enthusiast. To Arize, Olanna’s cousin, who is murdered while pregnant during the anti-Igbo pogroms that occur before Biafra breaks away as an independent country. The list of fantastic characters goes on and on.
This book reminds me of the stories my dad used to tell me about the Biafran war. As a young man who served in the war, he often said the stories of starvation, and how dead bodies littered some Igbo towns like dust. And thousands of people fleeing from their homes.
‘’Half of a Yellow Sun.’’ It’s a well-written fiction, and a reminder of the deaths of over three million Igbo people during the Nigerian civil war, an event that many Nigeria enthusiasts of today discuss lightly as if it was a boxing fight between two equal opponents.
In this book lies another book, ‘’The world was silent as we died. ’’Which is written by one of the characters in ‘’Half of a Yellow Sun.’’
For the sake of this review, I revisited the book (Half of a Yellow Sun) on an empty train coach during the outbreak of Convid19, I felt like I was traveling in a deserted town, where all inhabitants had fled from war.
It is worth noting that the Nigerian civil war was political beyond the shores of Nigeria. The French supported the Biafrans to expand their influence in West-African, and the British gave their support to Nigeria, a country they created.
On the 29th of August 1968, Jimmy Hendrix joined Joan Baez in a historic concert at Steve Paul’s Scene, Manhattan, New York, where they both performed free in a show of solidarity with the people of Biafra. On the 30th of May 1969, Bruce Mayrock, a 20 years old Columbia University student, set himself on fire in protest at the UN office to protest against the war in Biafra.
Books like ‘’Half of a Yellow Sun’’ is a should be a must-read for every Nigerian, and all lovers of good books globally.