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Girls at War

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  445 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Twelve stories by the internationally renowned novelist which recreate with energy and authenticity the major social and political issues that confront contemporary Africans on a daily basis.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
ebook, 128 pages
Published February 22nd 2012 by Anchor (first published January 1st 1972)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,878)
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Paquita Maria Sanchez
What do you do when you are in the middle of several lengthy novels, and have library books which you haven't even started yet which are due in a few short days? Why, you check out another book, a short story collection by an author whose 'opus' is a novel you read over a decade ago for your World Civilizations course, and which you remember slightly less than the conversations you and your friend had about the guy in Buddy Holly glasses two rows behind who your friend wanted to make out with, a ...more
Shari
War is a theme that I have a hard time getting to read and like in any kind of literature. Be it classic, sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction, non-fiction, I always have to force myself to read passages that tell of fighting, bombing, destroying and killing. Most of the time I skim to spare myself from the gore and horror. Once in a while, though, a story or book about war comes up in my reading that draws me in regardless of the pain and suffering it tells. This book is one of the very few. I a ...more
Kathleen
Chinua Achebe died today, and being a great believer in the maxim that dead authors live on in their books, I thought I would do my bit by reading something he wrote.

When I was in high school, I read Things Fall Apart and strongly disliked it. Now, as a (semi) adult, I enjoyed Girls At War much more than Things Fall Apart. I don't know if it was my age, my more advanced studies in history, or simply the fact that I did not have to analyze every word for meaning that got me, but I really enjoyed
...more
Sara
Before I get to ranting, a disclaimer: Quite a few of these stories are really funny and warm, and I found myself chuckling.


"My belief is that a child who will be somebody will be somebody whether he goes to school or not." Spoken by a callous, and of course wealthy, man to his impoverished teenaged nanny. The government offers free education, then takes it away and the newspapers gloat. A girl is sent to work by her mother who once gave up on good marriage prospects for a manual laborer, who h
...more
Linda
Sure, we've all read Things Fall Apart, probably years ago, but Chinua Achebe wrote a lot of stuff! This book was a totally random walking-through-the-library-and-its-spine-jumped-out-at-me-but-not-literally kind of decision. One of my few reads this summer that's not part of some project or quest. And I greatly enjoyed it! A story or two a day for a few days. I don't know a ton more about Nigeria than anyone else who is mostly familiar through Achebe and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and bad news in ...more
Josephus FromPlacitas
This collection of stories from three different decades feels a bit strange, just in the different personalities of the stories from different times. The stories from the 1950s and 60s often have a quiet gentility, an observational quality that was almost a little distancing for me. "The Madman" is a social portrait of reversal of roles on market day between a wandering lunatic and a young man trying to rise up the social ladder; "Marriage Is A Private Affair" tells a tale of family tension arou ...more
Literarycat
Chinua Achebe includes severalshort stories in this book that displays the heart and soul of life in Nigeria. Each of the stories hold a different aspect and quality to them. He has a flair of creating personalities different from the other characters he creates. When you begin each story it feels as if you are beginning a different novel. Each story focuses on something different for example A Marriage is a Private Affair forcuses on family tension around a sort of mixed marriage, while in "Aku ...more
Sam
Some stories are a bit weaker than others, but overall this is a great collection of stories from Nigeria and Biafra that reflect life lessons and challenges that are similar to those faced everywhere, albeit in slightly different settings.
Matt Miles
The strongest of this collection, three (and maybe four) of these stories succeed in Chinua Achebe's goal to preserve the memory of the Nigerian Civil War and the effect it had on its people. In each of the stories he is also looking forward, willing to point out in his frank honest style the specificity of the failures of leadership and the still-present danger of self-preservation and greed to meaningful change. His other stories are strong as well, and reflect familiar themes of the importanc ...more
Samir Rawas Sarayji
Another masterpiece by a flawless writer -most of the short stories here revolve around the Biafra war or its aftermath.
Susan Abulhawa
It was a sad day when Chinua Achebe passed away. This is another fruit of his literary brilliance. It's a collection of short stories set in Nigeria Igbo culture. The stories run through the Biafran War. Before during and after. Some are better than others. The narrative is economical and muscular - concise sentences that hold more words than are written. The characters are colorful and different, giving a deeper looking into their lives than one would expect from stories only a few pages long. ...more
Ijeoma Nwabudike
I think the first few stories lacked resolution. They felt incomplete (those were probably the ones Chinua Achebe wrote when he was much younger). Girls at war was a powerful, amazing tale though. It is definitely one of the best short stories that I have ever read..
Derek
Interesting stories that show what the Nigerian civil war was like for people who lived through them. The stories are all told from the view of people who saw the war without being on the front. Easy read.
Tinea
There is good growth and there is bad growth. The belly does not bulge out only with food and drink; it might be the abominable disease which would end by sending its sufferer our of the house even before he was fully dead. (p. 46)

I wanted to remember why I loved Achebe so much after the mild letdown of his memoir, There Was A Country: A Personal History of Biafra. This is why: stark, simple presentation of symbolically loaded stories that he never unpacks for the reader. Like Hemingway, I prefe
...more
Sara
A sobering picture of war in Nigeria several decades ago. Achebe is a gifted writer whose authentic voice highlights the innocence, corruption, and heartbreak of Nigeria.
Joanna
I just didn't enjoy or get these. I like his novel more.
Chiamaka Chuke-okafor
Keeps me smiling because I can relate to it so much
Jama Jack
A nice collection of short stories from Achebe. I wasn't quite fascinated by the content, as it seemed to be a set of recurring ideas linked strongly to Igbo culture and their way of life, which is probably very distinct in most of Achebe's works. However, I loved a couple of references that led me back to the days when I was much younger and would curl up with my copy of 'Things Fall Apart' when there was nothing else to read. 'The Madman' wasmy favourite, closely followed by 'Girls At War'. Th ...more
Sara El_burki
روايات بقلم تشنوا أشييبي ..
قصص قصيه مجموعه في كتاب واحدلكل قصه موضوع مختلف ومعني رائع ..
Sheila
*Girls* is a short-story collection, chronicling with everyday life in 50's - 60's Nigeria. Actually, they're vignettes rather than stories, serving more to illustrate the political corruption and the effects of missionaries of that time. It was an ok read, if a bit dry. A few exceptional passages were: "Vengeful Creditor", "Civil Peace", and "Sugar Baby".I much preferred Achebe's *Things Fall Apart*, though I can't really say why.
Darkowaa
-> http://africanbookaddict.wordpress.co...
My favorite stories were: 'The Madman' ; 'Marriage is a Private Affair' and 'Girls at War'. The other stories were meh... I don't think I enjoyed reading this short stories book. Achebe's writing style is flawless as usual, but I wasn't really interested in a lot of the stories. Meh.
Liz Janet
Beautiful collection, he has become one of my favourite authors. His works are more representative of the Igbo oral tradition, in which he unites folktales/proverbs and straightforward narration.
P.S. His short story "Dead Men's Path" deals with ignorance and conflict of different beliefs as well as tradition. It has become one of my favourite short stories.
Ikè
Great to have read some of Achebe's earliest short stories, including "Civil Peace" which I had the pleasure of reading many years ago. The end scene of the titular piece is especially stunning.
Judy
It's hard for me to rate books of short stories, because I often like some and dislike others. I remember the title story in particular was ironic and quite good.
Claire S
Chinua Achebe is among those writers mentioned early on by President Obama in his book, 'Dreams From my Father.'
Lindsey
"Girls at War" is by far the best short story in the collection. The others are quite nice as well.
Leigh Verrill-Rhys
A fine book. Insightful, especially about the Nigerian/Biafran conflict and tribal culture.
Fela
a collection of old stories that are well below Chinua Achebe's standards.

Riade Sara
we read your book in our university
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Chinua Achebe was a novelist, poet, professor at Brown University and critic. He is best known for his first novel, Things Fall Apart (1958), which is the most widely read book in modern African literature.

Raised by Christian parents in the Igbo town of Ogidi in southeastern Nigeria, Achebe excelled at school and won a scholarship for undergraduate studies. He became fascinated with world religion
...more
More about Chinua Achebe...
Things Fall Apart (The African Trilogy, #1) No Longer at Ease (The African Trilogy, #2) Arrow of God (The African Trilogy #3) A Man of the People Anthills of the Savannah

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