Philida

This is what it means 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 no. You don't ask questions. You just do what they tell you. But far in the back of your head you think: One day there must come a time when you got to say for yourself: 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 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 limist of her freedom, and with the Muslim slave Labyn, she sets off on a journey across 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.

Author:
Andre Brink
Format:
Paperback

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Description

This is what it means 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 no. You don't ask questions. You just do what they tell you. But far in the back of your head you think: One day there must come a time when you got to say for yourself: 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 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 limist of her freedom, and with the Muslim slave Labyn, she sets off on a journey across 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.

Product details

Author:
Andre Brink
Publisher:
Alfred A Knopf (Random House)
Imprint:
Harvill Secker
ISBN:
9781846557057
Audience:
General
Pages:
320
Width (mm):
135
Length (mm):
216
Additional Info:
Andre Brink is the author of several novels in English, 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.
Weight (g):
346

Customer reviews

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The Heartbeat of Life in Those Times

From Antjie Krog’s unadorned statement at the very start to the “I” on the final page [P304] I found Philida a very readable, well-researched, historical account of slave life in the first half of the nineteenth Century. I suppose my “liking” rests much in the South “Africanness” of the story plus Andre Brink’s ability to sketch, in words, the heartbeat of life in those times. A first-rate read!

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