Conversations with Myself
Publication Date: October 11, 2010
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Nelson Mandela is widely considered to be one of the most inspiring and iconic figures of our age. Now, after a lifetime of taking pen to paper to record thoughts and events, hardships and victories, he has bestowed his entire extant personal papers, which offer an unprecedented insight into his remarkable life.
A singular international publishing event, Conversations with Myself draws on Mandela’s personal archive of never-before-seen materials to offer unique access to the private world of an incomparable world leader. Journals kept on the run during the anti-apartheid struggle of the early 1960s; diaries and draft letters written in Robben Island and other South African prisons during his twenty-seven years of incarceration; notebooks from the postapartheid transition; private recorded conversations; speeches and correspondence written during his presidency—a historic collection of documents archived at the Nelson Mandela Foundation is brought together into a sweeping narrative of great immediacy and stunning power. An intimate journey from Mandela’s first stirrings of political consciousness to his galvanizing role on the world stage, Conversations with Myself illuminates a heroic life forged on the front lines of the struggle for freedom and justice.
While other books have recounted Mandela’s life from the vantage of the present, Conversations with Myself allows, for the first time, unhindered insight into the human side of the icon.
NELSON MANDELA was born in Transkei, South Africa, on July 18, 1918. He joined the African National Congress in 1944 and was engaged in resistance against the ruling National Party’s apartheid policies after 1948. From 1964 to 1982, he was incarcerated at Robben Island prison and then later moved to Pollsmoor prison, during which time his reputation as a potent symbol of resistance to apartheid grew steadily. Released from prison in 1990, Mandela received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 and was inaugurated as the first democratically elected president of South Africa in 1994. He is the author of the international bestseller Long Walk to Freedom.
JOHN KANI is a South African actor, director, and playwright famous for both his writing and his dramatic performance. He won a Fleur du Cap Award for Nothing But the Truth, a play about the post-apartheid rift between those who had stayed in South Africa during the apartheid and those who returned only once it had ended. That same year, he was awarded an Obie for his extraordinary contributions to theater in the US. He has starred onstage in My Children My Africa! and The Tempest, and can be seen on screen in a variety of television shows and movies, such as Othello, An African Dream, Soweto Green, and Endgame. He narrated Conversations With Myself by Nelson Mandela.
“What emerges from these extraordinary fragments is a sort of scrapbook that offers a rare portrait of the real man behind the legend and visionary leader … John Kani, whose voice and delivery is uncannily close to Mandela’s own, reads, making this Mandela mosaic come alive.” – BookPage
“…Kani reads with accented English that sounds similar to Mandela’s own voice (heard in bonus interviews). Kani effectively makes transcribed interviews seem spontaneous as he appropriately interjects pauses and inflections…Choral and instrumental music from the Soweto region separate sections” –Booklist
“…the writings reveal a man thinking himself into the great statesman he became. His intellect, humor, and drive shine from his words.” – AudioFile