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Lucas Nelson
Lucas Nelson

Download and Read There Was a Country by Chinua Achebe in EPUB Format

Chinua Achebe: There Was a Country - A Memoir of the Nigerian Civil War

If you are looking for a powerful and insightful account of one of the most tragic events in African history, you should read Chinua Achebe's There Was a Country. This book is a memoir of the Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War, that took place from 1967 to 1970. In this book, Achebe shares his personal experiences and reflections on the war that claimed millions of lives and shattered his homeland.

chinua achebe there was a country epub format


Chinua Achebe is widely regarded as one of the most influential African writers of all time. He is best known for his novels, such as Things Fall Apart, No Longer at Ease, Arrow of God, and A Man of the People, that depict the complex realities of colonialism, independence, and postcolonialism in Nigeria. He is also a renowned poet, essayist, critic, and activist who championed African literature and culture.

There Was a Country is his last published work before his death in 2013. It is not only a memoir, but also a history, a critique, and a tribute to his beloved country. In this article, we will explore what makes this book so remarkable and why you should read it in EPUB format.

The Life and Works of Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe was born in 1930 in Ogidi, a town in southeastern Nigeria. He grew up in a Christian family that belonged to the Igbo ethnic group. He attended missionary schools and later studied English literature at University College Ibadan. He worked as a teacher, broadcaster, editor, and professor in Nigeria and abroad. He also founded several literary magazines and organizations that promoted African writing.

Achebe's first novel, Things Fall Apart, was published in 1958. It was an instant success and has since become a classic of world literature. It tells the story of Okonkwo, an Igbo leader who struggles to cope with the changes brought by British colonialism. The novel has been translated into more than 50 languages and has sold over 20 million copies worldwide.

Achebe's other novels also deal with similar themes of tradition, modernity, conflict, and identity in Nigeria. He also wrote several collections of short stories, poems, essays, and children's books. His works have won numerous awards and honors, including the Man Booker International Prize in 2007. He was also nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature several times.

The Historical and Political Context of the Book

There Was a Country is a memoir of the Nigerian Civil War, which was fought between the federal government of Nigeria and the secessionist state of Biafra. The war was triggered by ethnic, religious, and political tensions that arose after Nigeria gained independence from Britain in 1960. The Igbo people, who dominated the eastern region of Nigeria, felt marginalized and discriminated by the northern and western regions, which were dominated by the Hausa-Fulani and Yoruba people respectively. The Igbo also feared for their safety after several pogroms and massacres against them by the northern Muslims.

In 1966, a group of Igbo army officers staged a coup d'etat that overthrew the civilian government and killed several northern leaders. The coup was followed by a counter-coup by northern officers that restored the federal government and killed many Igbo officers. In 1967, the eastern region declared its independence as the Republic of Biafra, led by Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu. The federal government, led by General Yakubu Gowon, refused to recognize Biafra and launched a military campaign to reunify the country.

The war lasted for three years and resulted in an estimated 1.5 to 3 million deaths, mostly from starvation, disease, and violence. The Biafran side suffered from a lack of resources, weapons, and international support. The federal side received assistance from Britain, the Soviet Union, and other countries. The war ended in 1970 with the surrender of Biafra and the reintegration of the eastern region into Nigeria.

The Main Themes and Messages of the Book

There Was a Country is not only a memoir of Achebe's personal experiences during the war, but also a reflection on the causes and consequences of the war for Nigeria and Africa. The book explores several themes and messages that are relevant to understanding the history and politics of the continent.

One of the main themes is the question of identity and belonging. Achebe examines how his Igbo identity shaped his worldview and his loyalty to Biafra. He also analyzes how colonialism, nationalism, ethnicity, religion, and language influenced the formation and fragmentation of Nigerian identity. He argues that Nigeria was an artificial creation of British colonialism that failed to accommodate the diversity and complexity of its people. He also criticizes the postcolonial leaders who betrayed the ideals of independence and democracy and plunged the country into corruption and violence.

Another theme is the role of culture and literature in preserving and promoting African values and voices. Achebe celebrates the rich and vibrant traditions of Igbo culture, such as oral storytelling, proverbs, music, art, and religion. He also praises the achievements of African writers, such as Wole Soyinka, Christopher Okigbo, Flora Nwapa, Cyprian Ekwensi, Amos Tutuola, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, and others who contributed to the development of African literature. He asserts that literature is a powerful tool for expressing and educating about African realities and perspectives.

A third theme is the challenge of human rights and justice in times of war and crisis. Achebe exposes the atrocities and horrors that occurred during the war, such as massacres, rapes, torture, bombings, starvation, disease, and displacement. He also denounces the indifference and complicity of the international community that ignored or supported the federal side. He calls for accountability and reconciliation for the victims and perpetrators of the war. He also advocates for peace and development for Nigeria and Africa.

The Literary Style and Techniques of the Book

There Was a Country is a memoir that combines narrative, analysis, poetry, and commentary. Achebe uses various literary techniques to convey his message and engage his readers.

One technique is narrative. Achebe tells his story in a chronological order that covers his childhood, education, career, involvement in the war, exile, return, and later life. He uses vivid descriptions, dialogues, anecdotes, quotations, letters, documents, photographs, and maps to illustrate his points. He also includes his own poems that reflect his emotions and thoughts on various topics.

Another technique is analysis. Achebe provides historical background information on Nigeria's colonial past, independence struggle, political system, ethnic groups, and regional dynamics. He also offers his opinions and critiques on various issues, such as colonialism, nationalism, ethnicity, religion, language, culture, literature, human rights, and international relations. He supports his arguments with facts, evidence, examples, and references to other sources.

A third technique is commentary. Achebe comments on his own writing process and choices. He explains why he decided to write this book The Reception and Impact of the Book

There Was a Country was published in 2012, four decades after the end of the war. It received mixed reviews from critics and readers. Some praised it as a masterpiece of memoir writing and a valuable contribution to African history and literature. Others criticized it as biased, inaccurate, or outdated.

Some of the positive reviews came from The Guardian, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, and The Independent. They commended Achebe's eloquence, honesty, courage, and wisdom. They also appreciated his insights and perspectives on the war and its aftermath.

Some of the negative reviews came from The Wall Street Journal, The Telegraph, The Spectator, and The New Republic. They accused Achebe of being one-sided, selective, or revisionist. They also challenged his facts and figures on the war and its casualties.

Despite the controversy, the book had a significant impact on the public awareness and discussion of the war and its legacy. It sparked a renewed interest and debate on the causes, consequences, and lessons of the war. It also inspired other writers and artists to revisit and reinterpret the war in their works.

The Advantages of Reading the Book in EPUB Format

EPUB is a popular format for reading ebooks. It stands for Electronic Publication and it is an open standard that can be used by various devices and platforms. EPUB has several advantages over other formats, such as PDF or MOBI.

One advantage is that EPUB is flexible and adaptable. It allows the text to adjust to different screen sizes, fonts, orientations, and resolutions. It also supports multimedia elements, such as images, audio, video, and hyperlinks. It also enables interactive features, such as bookmarks, annotations, highlights, and search functions.

Another advantage is that EPUB is accessible and compatible. It supports various languages, scripts, and alphabets. It also complies with international standards for accessibility and usability for people with disabilities. It can be read by various devices and applications, such as e-readers, tablets, smartphones, computers, and browsers.

How to Download and Read the Book in EPUB Format

If you want to read There Was a Country in EPUB format, you need to follow these steps:

  • Find a reliable source to download the book. You can either buy it from an online bookstore, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo, or borrow it from a library, such as OverDrive, Hoopla, or Libby. You can also find free or discounted copies from websites, such as Project Gutenberg, Open Library, or BookBub.

  • Choose a device and an application to read the book. You can use any device that supports EPUB format, such as Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iPad, iPhone, Android, or PC. You can also use any application that can open EPUB files, such as Calibre, Adobe Digital Editions, iBooks, Google Play Books, or Microsoft Edge.

  • Transfer the book to your device or application. You can either use a USB cable, a wireless connection, or a cloud service to transfer the book from your source to your device or application. You can also use an email attachment or a QR code to send the book to your device or application.

  • Open the book and enjoy reading it. You can customize your reading experience by changing the font size, color, brightness, layout, and orientation. You can also use the interactive features to navigate, bookmark, annotate, highlight, and search the book. You can also access the multimedia elements and hyperlinks to enhance your understanding and enjoyment of the book.


There Was a Country is a remarkable book that tells the story of one of the most tragic events in African history: the Nigerian Civil War. It is also a personal memoir of Chinua Achebe's life and works as one of the most influential African writers of all time. The book explores various themes and messages that are relevant to understanding the history and politics of Nigeria and Africa. The book also uses various literary techniques to convey its meaning and engage its readers.

If you want to read this book in EPUB format, you can enjoy several advantages over other formats. EPUB is flexible, adaptable, accessible, and compatible. It also supports multimedia and interactive features. You can easily download and read the book in EPUB format by following a few simple steps.

We hope that this article has inspired you to read There Was a Country in EPUB format. It is a book that will enrich your knowledge and appreciation of African literature and culture. It is also a book that will challenge your views and emotions on war and humanity.


Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about the book and EPUB format:

  • Q: When and where did Chinua Achebe die? A: Achebe died on March 21, 2013, in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He was 82 years old. He had been living in the USA since 1990, after a car accident in Nigeria left him paralyzed from the waist down.

  • Q: What is the meaning of the title There Was a Country? A: The title is a reference to the first line of William Butler Yeats' poem "The Second Coming", which reads: "Turning and turning in the widening gyre / The falcon cannot hear the falconer; / Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; / Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world". The title suggests that Nigeria was once a country that had potential and promise, but it fell apart due to internal and external forces.

  • Q: What is the difference between EPUB and PDF? A: EPUB and PDF are two common formats for reading ebooks. EPUB is an open standard that can be used by various devices and platforms. PDF is a proprietary format that was created by Adobe. EPUB is flexible and adaptable, while PDF is fixed and rigid. EPUB supports multimedia and interactive features, while PDF does not. EPUB is more suitable for reading ebooks, while PDF is more suitable for printing documents.

  • Q: How can I convert EPUB to PDF or vice versa? A: You can use online tools or software to convert EPUB to PDF or vice versa. Some of the popular ones are Zamzar, Online-Convert, CloudConvert, Epubor, and Calibre. You just need to upload your file, choose your output format, and download your converted file.

Q: What are some other books by Chinua Achebe that I can read? A: Some of the other books by Chinua Achebe that you can read are:

  • Things Fall Apart (1958) - His first and most famous novel that tells the story of Okonkwo, an Igbo leader who struggles to cope with the changes brought by British colonialism.

  • No Longer at Ease (1960) - His second novel that tells the story of Obi Okonkwo, the grandson of Okonkwo, who returns to Nigeria after studying in England and faces corruption and temptation.

  • Arrow of God (1964) - His third novel that tells the story of Ezeulu, a chief priest of an Igbo village who clashes with British authorities and his own people over religious matters.

  • A Man of the People (1966) - His fourth novel that tells the story of Odili Samalu, a young teacher who becomes involved in politics and confronts his former mentor, Chief Nanga, a corrupt politician.

  • Anthills of the Savannah (1987) - His fifth novel that tells the story of three friends who become involved in a coup d'etat in a fictional African country.



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