Today we talk about Kidding in a Theatre of War, a book by Ndu Paul Eke published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author Ndu Paul Eke to get to know him better, what was the moment that brought him to the writing of his book Kidding in a Theatre of War, as well as how he chose the title of his book.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- What is the moment that brought you to the writing of your book?
Because I witnessed the Nigerian civil war, though as a child, it has remained in my memory. Perhaps, I would say the memory is almost indelible. I grew up reading accounts and publications by others, largely people who were adults during the hostilities. I kept feeling there were gaps in those – I know some child soldiers on the Biafran side who have written some books too but I don’t know any who was my age when the war started. For long I held the thought that one day I will write my account. I started sometime around 2019, in bits, more as short stories of 2000, 3000 words. During the COVID -19 restrictions, I got impetus to do more; I had more time to piece them together as one whole story with all clarity how it was going to end.
- What are the crucial themes of your book?
I would say, “war, a terrible option”; my people are the worse of victims;” and “a story for posterity.”
- What is the message you want to communicate to your readers?
I think it comes in part from the themes more or less – war shouldn’t be an option, revenge is poor, peace is superior. No matter the provocation, some sober people should find a way to resolve conflicts. The consequences of war are incalculable – 53 years after, my people, the Igbos and other tribes that make up the old Eastern region of Nigeria are still suffering the consequences. We are victims. This is in spite of their very outstanding resilience. It causes pervasive mistrust among people. In any case, humanity is actually one no matter how much we resort to ethnicity, religion, race, colour and all those things which divide and conflict people.
- How did you choose the title of your book?
I thought of what phrase that would encapsulate the themes and also appeal sharply to readers sentiments. Well, I used to cast newspaper headlines. I played with lots of words and ideas but the fact is the story is about the account of a child and his mates in an enclave of war. Yes, the child has since grown but much of the information in the book came through his eyes as a child. I was a little over seven years old when the war started and 10 when it ended. Initially I left it as Kidding In The Throes of War, These Children of War and finally settled for Kidding In A Theatre Of War which at the time I thought was fresh and more people can relate to it.
- Are you working on a new writing project you can tell us about?
Yes, I am; I think it is a novella. It is a family story set in Aba town after the civil war; I was born in Aba. It in part x-rays the cultural problem, a mother’s overdrive in protecting her only male child, then traditional family discipline process, etc. I think it is going to be an interest pack. There is another, a collection of my other short stories – Along The Way.
Europe Books thanks the author Ndu Paul Eke once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside him on the editorial path that led to the publication of his book Kidding in a Theatre of War. We wish him the best of luck for his book and for his future works.
To you, my dear reader, may this book let you reflect upon the fact that war shouldn’t be an option, revenge is scarce, peace is superior. Make it your motto and live a life that goes in this direction for your sake and that of others.
So, my dear reader, all I have to say is to enjoy your reading!