The Free Diary of Albie Sachs
Invitations to three different conferences make it possible for us to travel together in Europe. ... And I will keep a diary ... All my previous books have dealt with disaster. Solitary confinement produced my Jail Diary. Then a second detention and sleep deprivation resulted in Stephanie on Trial. More recently, the car bomb led to The Soft Vengeance of a Freedom Fighter. I am not convinced that I can write well about happiness. What a challenge to depict not calamity survived, but joy experienced!
With warmth, charm and unique insight, Albie Sachs takes us on a journey to places of former exile - London, St Petersburg and Helsinki - where we see the sights and hear the sounds as he and his life partner, Vanessa September, experienced them. Those they encounter include former IRA and loyalist prisoners in Belfast, President Putin in Moscow, couples wheeling prams on the roof of the Reichstag in Berlin ... in reading about them the reader shares thoughts and conversations on politics, law, music, art and architecture.
The people that the couple meet on their travels want to know more about how - in the country that gave rise to apartheid - the struggle for human rights has produced what is widely regarded as the world's most advanced constitution. There is surely no one is more qualified to answer such questions than this illustrious fighter for freedom.
From the reviews
Frankly speaking, The Free Diary of Albie Sachs is a well-crafted work that confirms Sachs’s status as a seasoned author who can brilliantly narrate aspects of life, calamity and joy alike.
— Steven Motale, The Citizen