LONGLISTED FOR THE 2012 MAN BOOKER PRIZE!
An unforgettable story of a woman determined to find her freedom - set in South Africa in 1830s, as slavery was about to be abolished. The masterpiece from the twice Booker-shortlisted author.
Soon there must come a day when I can say for myself: This and that I shall do, this and that I shall not.
Philida is the mother of four children by Francois Brink, the son of her master. The year is 1832 and the Cape is rife with rumours about the liberation of the slaves. Philida decides to risk her whole life by lodging a complaint against Francois, who has reneged on his promise to set her free. His father has ordered him to marry a white woman from a prominent Cape Town family, and Philida will be sold on to owners in the harsh country up north. Unwilling to accept this fate, Philida continues to test the limits of her freedom, and with the Muslim slave Labyn she sets off on a journey across the great wilderness on the banks of the Gariep River, to the far north of Cape Town.
Philida is an unforgettable story of one woman’s determination to survive and be free.
"Philida suffers the worst insults a slave and a woman might suffer, though in her heart and mind she never submits. At this level, hers is a gripping tale, redolent of the triumph of the oppressed as related in countless romances."
- Business Day Live
"Brink tells this story with a depth of feeling and empathy that it extremely moving. He paints a vivid picture for the reader - you can see the chickens scratching in the dust and feel the coolness of Fans and Philida's special bamboo copse. Make sure you have lots of time if you pick up Philida, you won't be able to put it down!"
- Durban North Fever