Neo-Colonialism, Biafra, and the Causes of War as imagined in Buchi Emecheta’s Destination Biafra

Ugochukwu, Françoise (2016). Neo-Colonialism, Biafra, and the Causes of War as imagined in Buchi Emecheta’s Destination Biafra. In: Falola, Toyin and Ezekwem, Ogechukwu eds. Writing the Nigeria-Biafra War. London: James Currey, pp. 361–379.

URL: https://boydellandbrewer.com/writing-the-nigeria-b...

Abstract

Emecheta is mostly known for her novels reflecting on the domestic sphere, on women’s life and issues of marriage and children. Destination Biafra, her novel on the Biafran war, on the other hand, has not generated the same interest and “seems to be largely ignored” (Adams 288). Described by its author as ‘a historical fiction’ which ‘simply had to be written’, the work follows the long initiation journey of Emecheta’s ‘dream character’, Debbie, from Lagos to the heart of Biafra, a journey that both reveals the various sides of the war and deeply transforms Debbie’s character and viewpoint. This chapter considers the novel’s presentation of the war through its using thinly-veiled historical characters and events as a background, the novelist’s reflection on the causes of the conflict and her presentation of the role neocolonialism and ethnic realities played in it.

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