The Open UniversitySkip to content

Plaited hair in a calabash – Adichie on the Biafran landscape

Ugochukwu, Francoise (2012). Plaited hair in a calabash – Adichie on the Biafran landscape. Mbari: the International Journal of Igbo Studies, 2(1-2) pp. 49–59.

Full text available as:
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (189kB) | Preview
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


Born seven years after the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie comes from a family that experienced the conflict first hand. In her remarkable second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), Adichie relives the war: news of Igbo massacres and horror stories told by haggard eye-witnesses who escaped from the north; the flight from the university town of Nsukka just before the first battles; groups and individuals on the move on crowded roads; lovers torn apart by a conflict that divided the country; fears over children’s health as food scarcity hit the eastern region; daily bombardments and the ominous presence of death, its inevitability and horror; a life reduced to an hour by hour survival, without any future in sight. Death is at the very centre of this novel clearly haunted by parents’ and relatives’ memories of the northern massacres of 1966, massacres whose graphic descriptions and distressing details echo through the pages and are branded into its fabric.. The book may have taken many liberties with history, yes, yet its fictitious aspects, including characterization aptly and vividly evoke the atmosphere of fear and despair of the time.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2009 Francoise Ugochukwu
Extra Information: Special issue on Genocide and Dystopia in Nigeria

This was a 2009 issue published late in 2012
Keywords: Adichie; Nigeria; Biafra; literature
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies > Development
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Social Sciences and Global Studies
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Innovation, Knowledge & Development research centre (IKD)
Item ID: 37466
Depositing User: Françoise Ugochukwu
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2013 08:32
Last Modified: 06 Aug 2019 08:45
Share this page:

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU