It’s Biafra Remembrance Day, and while many authors have written about the Biafra War, perhaps no other book on the subject has captured the world’s attention as much as Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun. To mark the occasion this year, Adichie released a short video on her Instagram TV channel responding to questions posed by readers about the writing of Half of a Yellow Sun. She recounts her motivation as well as the conditions of possibility for writing the novel, the emotions she felt while writing it, and much more.

Watch the video below for a “behind-the-scenes” look at the making of Half of a Yellow Sun. If anything, it offers us insight into the amount of empathy a novelist can feel and even needs when writing about a topic like the Biafran War.