Interview with Kwame Alexander 25/04/18
Half of a Yellow Sun
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Half of a Yellow Sun is set in Nigeria during the 1960s, at the time of the vicious Nigeria- Biafra war in which more than a million people died and thousands were massacred in cold blood
Three characters are swept up in the rapidly unfolding political events. Ugwu, a boy from a poor village, is employed as a houseboy for a university lecturer. Olanna, a young, middle-class woman, has come to live with the professor, abandoning her privileged life in Lagos for a dusty university town and the charismatic idealism of her new lover. Richard is a tall, shy Englishman, in thrall to Olanna’s twin sister Kainene, who refuses to belong to anyone.
They are propelled into events that will pull them apart and bring them together in the most unexpected ways. As Nigerian troops advance and they run for their lives, their ideals – and their loyalties to each other – are severely tested. This novel is about Africa, about moral responsibility, the end of colonialism, ethnic allegiances, class and race and about how love can complicate all these things.