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War Games/ by Dulue Mbachu.
[First print] The New Gong, Lagos,
Nigeria: Printed in the United
States by KingPrinting, Inc:
Adibooks [distributor], 2005. 203
pages: 5.5 x 8.5 ins.  ISBN
9783842110 (paperback). Fiction.
Price: US$ 15; GBP 9; Euro 13.
Dulue Mbachu was born in Nigeria in 1961. Since taking a
university degree in 1983 he has worked as a teacher and
journalist. During 23 years as a journalist Mbachu has The
Washington Post and Associated Press. His short stories
have been published in the magazines BBC Focus on Africa
and West Africa. This is his first novel.

A tender coming-of-age story forged in the crucible of Biafra,
War Games is a relentlessly candid and unsentimental
reconstruction of a halcyon world suddenly shattered by
hate, flight and strife. For Basil Chekwubechukwu Odukwe or
Cheche, the good life as a rich landlord’s son in northern
Nigeria suddenly turns nightmarish as the country descends
into civil war. The five-year-old yet to know the meaning of
Nigeria’s independence perforce escapes to his rural village
of Amafor in the south to start a different life in the shadow of
traumatized parents and relatives, war crimes and songs,
folksy traditional pastimes and exacting Catholicism. In this
haunting and very original first novel, Dulue Mbachu adroitly
enters into the skull of childhood to tell a compelling human
story with remarkable restraint and resonant narrative grace.

- Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

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