By Uduma Kalu
As his contribution to events marking the country’s 50th independence anniversary, celebrated novelist, Professor Chinua Achebe, is set to release a major opus – Reflections on the Nigerian Civil War 1967-1970. ThisÂ year is also the 40th anniversary of the end of the Biafran war.
Sources from Achebeâ€™s publishers in the Unites States said the book, â€œwill cover a chronological history of events that led to, occurred during, and took place immediately after one of the bloodiest wars in history that claimed about two million lives.
“Because the work will be about his life in the milieu of the tragedy, it will not be a strictly historical but autobiographical work. He envisions a book of over 300 pages.â€
During the Nigerian Civil War (1967-70) Achebe was in the Biafran government service, and embarked on a number of missions for Biafra to Europe, Africa and the Americas before its fall.
Heretofore, Prof. Achebeâ€™s writings from and about this period have been in the form of short stories and anguished award-winning poetry that reflects his deep personal disappointment with what Nigeria became after independence.
In 1967, Achebe co-founded a publishing company in Enugu with his close friend, poet Christopher Okigbo, who was killed during the conflict. The new work dedicates a chapter to this man many consider Africaâ€™s greatest poet.
Sources close to the revered writer report that the major opus will have four parts but readers will have to wait until the work is published for more details as the writer, famous for his privacy, prefers not to discuss his unpublished work.