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The People’s Right to the NovelWar Fiction in the Postcolony$
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Eleni Coundouriotis

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823262335

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823262335.001.0001

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Toward a People’s History:

Toward a People’s History:

The Novels of the Nigerian Civil War

(p.98) Chapter 2 Toward a People’s History
The People’s Right to the Novel

Eleni Coundouriotis

Fordham University Press

This chapter argues that the sizeable body of fiction which constitutes the novels of the Nigerian Civil War articulates a vital argument about democracy. The fiction maps various divides of privilege, religion and ethnicity, but returns persistently to reflect on the divides of class privilege. The widespread suffering during war revitalizes an awareness of bonds across class and educational divides, and creates solidarity against those who either profit from war or manage to escape the brunt of its consequences. The chapter focuses on works by Chinua Achebe, Buchi Emecheta, Cyprian Ekwensi and Ken Saro-Wiwa among others and pays particular attention to their depiction of bare life as theorized by Giorgio Agamben. The broad survey offered in this chapter is used as the foundation for a reading of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie novel of the war in Chapter 4.

Keywords:   Nigerian Civil War, Buchi Emecheta, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Chinua Achebe, Cyprian Ekwensi, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Giorgio Agamben

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