Emmanuel Iduma’s “I Am Still With You”

By LARB Radio HourMarch 3, 2023

Emmanuel Iduma’s “I Am Still With You”
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Kate Wolf is joined by writer and critic Emmanuel Iduma to discuss his new memoir, I Am Still With You: A Reckoning With Silence, Inheritance, and History. The book follows Iduma’s return to his native Nigeria after many years of living abroad. It recounts his travels through the southern portion of the country in search of information about one of his uncles—the man for whom he was named but never met. The elder Emmanuel disappeared after fighting in Nigeria’s Civil War, also known as the Biafran War, a conflict that lasted from 1967 to 1970, and came on the heels of Nigeria’s independence from British Rule. Though it touched the lives of a significant amount of the population, and killed over a million Igbo people, the war is still shrouded in mystery within the country, and like Iduma’s uncle, the fates of many of its casualties remain unknown. In I Am Still With You, Iduma meets the lacunae of his uncle’s life head on, in turn confronting other painful absences within his family with a thoughtful introspection, using history, literature, the archive, and vivid encounters from everyday life to make a path across the abyss.

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The LARB Radio Hour is hosted by Eric Newman, Medaya Ocher, and Kate Wolf.


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