Girls at War and Other Stories by Chinua Achebe

Date Read: August 5th 2014

Published: September 1991

Publisher: First Anchor Books

Pages: 121


The Blurb

Full of characteristic energy and authenticity, the stories in this classic collection capture the remarkable talent of one of the world’s most acclaimed writers and storytellers.

Here we read of an ambitious farmer who is suddenly shunned by his village when a madman exacts his humiliating revenge; a young nanny who is promised an education by her well-to-do employers, only to be cruelly cheated out of it; and in three fiercely observed stories about the Nigerian civil war, we are confronted with the economic ethnic, cultural and religious tensions that continue to rack modern Africa. Displaying an astonishing range of experience, Chinua Achebe deftly takes us inside the heart and soul of people whose pride and ideals must compete with the simple struggle to survive.


Review – ★★★ (3 stars)

This is a decent collection of stories by Achebe.

My favorite stories were:

The Madman‘ – a tale of a once prominent man in a village who is humiliated by a vengeful madman. What a shameful but hilarious story!

Marriage is a Private Affair‘ – a story of a loving couple who are trying to convince their relatives of their forbidden love, as they are from different ethnic groups. I liked how Achebe wrote on the challenges of intermarriages between people of different ethnic groups especially as it is a problem we still face in Africa today.

Girls at War‘ – a tragic love story during the civil war in Nigeria. The story is centered on the short-lived romance between a militia girl and the Minister of Justice, living on the edge during the dangerous times of the civil war.

I don’t think I enjoyed reading this collection of short stories. Achebe’s writing style and storytelling manner were phenomenal as usual, but I wasn’t really interested in the subject matter of most of the stories. To be honest, I purchased the book because I loved the book cover design! And I must say, I still like the book cover design more than the stories, hahaa! But I do recommend this book- especially to the die-hard Chinua Achebe fans…this would be a fast read for you.

★★★ (3 stars) – Good book. I recommend it, I guess.

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