This is what it is to be a slave: that everything is decided for you from out there. You just got to listen and do as they tell you. You don t say . You don t ask questions. You just do what they tell you. But far at the back of your head you think: Soon there must come a day when I can say for myself: This and that I shall do, this and that I shall t. In Philida, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Andre Brink one of South Africa's greatest velists (The Telegraph) gives us his most powerful vel 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 rth. Here is the remarkable story based on individuals connected to the author s family of a fiercely independent woman who will settle for thing and for 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 rth of the country in order to reclaim her soul.
Andre Brink is the author of numerous novels, including A Dry White Season, Imaginings of Sand, The Rights of Desire and The Other Side of Silence. He has won South Africa's most important literary prize, the CNA Award, three times and has twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize.