The pieces here span reflections on personal and collective identity, on home and family, on literature, language and politics, and on Achebe’s lifelong attempt to reclaim the definition of ‘Africa’ for its own authorship. For the first thirty years of his life, before Nigeria’s independence in 1960, Achebe was officially defined as a ‘British Protected Person’. In The Education of a British-Protected Child he gives us a vivid, ironic and delicately nuanced portrait of growing up in colonial Nigeria and inhabiting its ‘middle ground’, interrogating both his happy memories of reading English adventure stories in secondary school and also the harsher truths of colonial rule.
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