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Capturing Biafra's Brief Day in the 'Yellow Sun'

Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was not yet born when civil war took hold of her native Nigeria. But she's lived through its legacy.

Adichie grew up in the presence of survivors and in the shadows of the dead. At 29, she uses a novel — Half of a Yellow Sun to tell the story of the Ibo people's fight to form the independent nation of Biafra.

The war of secession began in 1967 after thousands of Ibo were massacred and driven out of northern Nigeria by the Hausa, another ethnic group. When the fighting ended nearly three years later, as many as 2 million people were dead, most of starvation and disease.

Adichie tells Debbie Elliott about the book... and about what Biafra means to three main characters: Richard, Olanna and Ugwu.

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