Publication Date: February 2013
List Price: $39.99*
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Andre Brink "one of South Africa's greatest novelists" (the "Telegraph") gives us his most powerful novel yet; the truly unforgettable story of a female slave, and her fierce determination to survive and to be free. It is 1832 in South Africa, the year before slavery is abolished and the slaves are emancipated. Philida is the mother of four children by Francois Brink, the son of her master. When Francois's father orders him to marry a woman from a prominent Cape Town family, Francois reneges on his promise to give Philida her freedom, threatening instead to sell her to new owners in the harsh country up north.
Here is the remarkable story based on individuals connected to the author's family of a fiercely independent woman who will settle for nothing and for no one. Unwilling to accept the future that lies ahead of her, Philida continues to test the limits and lodges a complaint against the Brink family. Then she sets off on a journey from the southernmost reaches of the Cape, across a great wilderness, to the far north of the country in order to reclaim her soul.
"[Philida] traces the lacerating trajectory of the sins of parents, parents scars like open wounds on their children's bodies. There is an astonishing frankness about the facts of life and a visionary lyricism in relation to these cruel facts. The 'Acknowledgements' section details the genesis of the novel. In its way, it is as thrilling as the book itself. Extraordinary." ---Kirkus Starred Review