Iweala, Uzodinma 1982–

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Iweala, Uzodinma 1982–

PERSONAL: Born 1982, in Washington, DC. Education: Harvard University, graduate.

ADDRESSES: Home—Washington, DC. Agent—HarperCollins Publishers, 10 E. 53rd St., 7th Fl., New York, NY 10022.

CAREER: Writer. Worked on rehabilitation with Nigerian child soldiers.

MEMBER: Mellon Mays scholar, Harvard University.


Beasts of No Nation (novel), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2005.

SIDELIGHTS: Uzodinma Iweala was born in Washington, DC, in 1982, to parents of Nigerian descent. He is a graduate of Harvard University, where he was a Mellon Mays dcholar and won several writing awards, including the Hoopes Prize for outstanding undergraduate thesis on the work that provided the foundation for his first book, Beasts of No Nation.

A novel, Beasts of No Nation takes a look at the experiences of Agu, a young man who finds himself swept into the violent civil war then taking place in his nameless West African country. Though still only a child, Agu is forced to become a soldier, as did many young men during the 1960s civil war that took place in Nigeria. In an article in Bookseller, Iweala told interviewer Benedicte Page: "I wanted to write about Nigeria, and to a certain extent about the Nigerian civil war in the 1960s—that was a really terrible time for my country, and my parents were around my age when it took place, and soldiers were often only sixteen or eighteen years old. Having the book set in an unspecified place and historical period allowed me a lot more leeway and freedom to explore." Page remarked that "the first thing you notice about the novel is its voice and its immediacy." A contributor for Publishers Weekly wrote that "Iweala's visceral debut is unrelenting in its brutality and unremitting in its intensity."



Bookseller, April 22, 2005, Benedicte Page, "Agu's Hard Lessons in Killing," p. 27.

Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2005, review of Beasts of No Nation, p. 756.

Publishers Weekly, August 29, 2005, review of Beasts of No Nation, p. 29.


Guardian Online, http://books.guardian.co.uk/ (October 15, 2005), "Uzodinma Iweala."