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A Letter Away From Asaba: A Novella

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Claudia Efemini is a current History and Politics student at the University of Edinburgh (2021-2025). Through a series of diary entries and letters these two young women attempt to come to grips with the massacre and fulfil their desire of publicising its existence in opposition to this censorship. A Letter Away From Asaba, an epistolary novella, is a historical fictional narrative centred on the Asaba massacre of the Nigerian Civil War. Books like A Letter Away From Asaba allow people to connect with a handful of individuals involved in these atrocities and help us to gain new and important perspectives. Overall, this is a great book to educate yourself on the Nigerian Civil War and understand the effects that it has on individual people.

This is far from easy, and they await a series of hurdles in ways they least expect that, in contrast, try to ensure that the victims of the massacre die in vain. As she struggles to deal with the horrific and ceaseless deaths surrounding her, she takes sanctuary in receiving letters from her oldest friend, Onome, who is studying law at Kings College in London.Not long ago did I do a podcast episode with a close friend of mine Esther Akinyomi, for One Edinburgh (an organisation that aims to support international students navigate their way around the UK higher education system). It is a book that I wrote during the course of my first year at Edinburgh and I am still quite shocked that it will be transformed into print next year. Onome is an international student from Nigeria studying law at King’s College London whilst Chioma lives in Asaba, Nigeria. Learning about the Nigerian Civil War and Asaba in particular through these two women was enlightening and truly educational. The last sentence of this book written in Claudia’s acknowledgments is as follows; “through reading this historical fictional narrative, I hope it inspires people to seek out their history and immerse themselves into crucial historical discourse.

The 103 third parties who use cookies on this service do so for their purposes of displaying and measuring personalized ads, generating audience insights, and developing and improving products. Nigerian history is something that I am greatly passionate about and looking through a degree programme that makes little mention of Nigeria sparked a burning desire in me to fulfil my passion through writing historical fiction. Finance is provided by PayPal Credit (a trading name of PayPal UK Ltd, Whittaker House, Whittaker Avenue, Richmond-Upon-Thames, Surrey, United Kingdom, TW9 1EH). Claudia Efemini has created something that everyone should read, if only to learn a pivotal part in Nigerian history.This is not at all to say that my time in Edinburgh so far has not helped me cultivate ideas for this book. The letters exchanged between the two main characters - Chioma, who is living in Nigeria during the civil war, and Onome, a student in London, convey an absolutely realistic portrayal of female friendship and sisterhood. This story was so carefully crafted and I was so emotionally invested in the wellbeing and relationships of these characters. I also hope to learn more about the culture in Quebec and further develop my French language skills.

Efemini thoughtfully uses diary entries and letters to create a lucid and intimate account of Asaba's censored micro history. Many of us who live abroad and don't get the chance to come back home feel like we lose parts of who we are and our country the longer we are gone, but this felt like a piece of home.

I am thrilled to have been selected to do an exchange year at McGill University as part of The University of Edinburgh's study abroad programme. The two converse back and forth, despite the heightening threats to their lives, about Asaba and the severe censorship in Britain. The distance emphasizes this issue, making the form of communication even more crucial to the book's plot.

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