See Article History Elechi Amadi, born May 12, , Aluu, near Port Harcourt , Nigeria—died June 29, , Port Harcourt , Nigerian novelist and playwright best known for works that explore traditional life and the role of the supernatural in rural Nigeria. He later served in the Nigerian army, taught, and worked for the Ministry of Information. Sunset in Biafra , his only work of nonfiction, recounts his experiences as a soldier and civilian during the Biafran conflict. Amadi was best known, however, for his historical trilogy about traditional life in Nigerian villages: The Concubine , The Great Ponds , and The Slave These novels concern human destiny and the extent to which it can be changed; the relationship between people and their gods is the central issue explored. Amadi was a keen observer of details of daily life and religious rituals, which he unobtrusively described in his dramatic stories.
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Writing[ edit ] He has been writer-in-residence and lecturer at Rivers State College of Education, where he has also been Dean of Arts, head of the literature department and Director of General Studies. Amadi has said that his first publication was in , a poem entitled "Penitence" in a University of Ibadan campus magazine called The Horn, edited by John Pepper Clark. In Amadi autobiographical non-fiction, Sunset in Biafra, was published.
It records his personal experiences in the Nigeria-Biafra war, and according to Niven "is written in a compelling narrative form as though it were a novel". This is the surprising trajectory that this short but profoundly memorable booklet by the late Elechi Amadi represents.
Although the two narrative treatises contained in this work were described by the author as an excursion into the medium of science fiction it would really be more accurate to define them as philosophical allegories.
Their contents contemplate the human condition and the limits of the potential for human achievement based on the concept of the supernatural rather than simply being exercises in the conceptualisation of events of an otherworldly nature, which popular science fiction often is.
In the final analysis these works read like fables from the future that the author must have had immense enjoyment creating. It was in this period that he embarked on the experiments in new forms of writing of which this work is a slight but unforgettable example. He was released on the evening of 6 January, 23 hours later.