I Am Still With You: A Reckoning with Silence, Inheritance and History
‘A lyrical investigation … both powerful and transcendent’ CHIGOZIE OBIOMA
‘Acutely observed, hauntingly rendered and deeply affecting’ AMINATTA FORNA
‘Both epic and intimate’ MARGO JEFFERSON
An astonishing search for a missing person, the hidden tragedies of war and the truth of Nigeria’s history.
Emmanuel Iduma never met his uncle, his father’s favourite brother and the man for whom he is named. The elder Emmanuel left home in 1967 to fight in the Biafran War and was not seen again. The war lasted for three years, with young Igbo men volunteering to fight for a breakaway republic in the chaotic wake of British decolonization. Around one hundred thousand others who fought in the war share a fate like Emmanuel’s uncle, though there are no official records of these losses. The tensions that gave rise to the conflict remain live, threatening sometimes to bubble over. In this landscape, there are no monuments or graves. Instead, a collective remembering that remains, for the most part, silent.
I Am Still with You sees a young Nigerian return to his place of birth. Travelling the route of the war, Iduma explores both a national history and the mysteries of his own family, finding both somewhat scarred and haunted, the memories warped by time and the darkest parts left for decades unspoken.
‘A lyrical investigation into the nature of being, history, the collective memory of Biafra - a dark chapter in world history. Iduma writes with such startling clarity that the book ultimately becomes both powerful and transcendent’Chigozie Obioma, Booker Prize-shortlisted author of The Fishermen and An Orchestra of Minorities -
‘A genre-defying work, I Am Still with You is a quest, both spiritual and real, a travelogue, a memoir, and a history of Biafra … Acutely observed, hauntingly rendered, and deeply affecting - a masterful achievement’Aminatta Forna, author of The Devil That Danced on the Water -
‘Iduma confronts and contemplates the wounds left by the Biafran war: death on a mass scale; deaths in his family; griefs, angers and questions that still plague the living. I Am Still With You is both epic and intimate. It gives us the beauties and consolations of an ethnical imagination’Margo Jefferson, author of Negroland -
‘Like Manthia Diawara's In Search of Africa, Iduma's story of a nation's making - and unmaking - is rooted in a personal search for a lost individual … A moving account of a return, and a profound, elegiac plea for recognition of both the living and the dead. A compelling, sharply observed story of discovery, beautifully paced and haunting in its details’Amitava Kumar, author of Immigrant, Montana -
'This book shines a light through the silent fog that shrouded our past. It is a gift of understanding, for me and countless others'Rachel Edwards, author of Darling -
”'In clear, elegiac prose, Iduma’s search leads to an affecting conclusion” - New Statesman
‘Iduma’s quietly brilliant new book … blends travelogue, reportage, criticism, memoir, and history in a hypnotic tale’Vulture, Best Books of 2023 -
”'An immersive memoir … Iduma’s unraveling of the past is bound to leave readers eager to uncover their own family secrets” - Publishers Weekly