FREETOWN, Sierra Leone - Author Ishmael Beah disputed reports that his best-selling 2007 memoir about serving as a child soldier in Sierra Leone contained inconsistencies.

Beah, on his first trip back to Sierra Leone since the book was published, defended his version of events in "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier," saying his memoir is based on personal recollection and is not a historical account.

"I decided to write because I wanted to shed light on this experience from my own personal point of view. I never claimed I was going to write a history of the war," he said in an interview this week. "Only Ishmael Beah can tell his experience. I wrote the memoirs based on my experience as far as my memory could remember."

Beah's memoir was hailed as a landmark in wartime writing, but some are questioning how the 27-year-old is able to recall incidents that happened a decade earlier when, according to his own account, he was often high on drugs. *