Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Half of a Yellow Sun

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Half of a Yellow Sun

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2006, 448 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2007, 528 pages

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A Short History of Biafra and Nigeria

Located on the west coast of Africa, Nigeria (map) is the most populous country in Africa (~122 million in an area about double that of California).  It became a state in 1960 when it declared its independence from Britain. In 1966 a series of coups and counter coups started that continued until 1999 (other than for a short lived "second republic" from 1979-1983) when democracy was regained.

It was believed that the January 1966 coup was initiated by Igbo officers (the Igbo or Ibo are one of the largest ethnic groups in Africa constituting about 17% of Nigeria's population), as a result, in September of the same year there were mass killings of migrant Igbo living...

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