The year is 1832 and the Cape is rife with rumours about the liberation of slaves. Philida is the mother of four children by Francois Brink, the son of her master.
Francois has reneged on his promise to set her free and his father has ordered him to marry a white woman from a prominent family, selling Philida on to owners in the harsh country in the north. Unwilling to accept this fate, Philida tests the limits of her freedom by setting off on a journey. She travels across the great wilderness to the far north of Cape Town - determined to survive and be free.
LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2012.
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In the hands of Mr Brink, one of South Africa’s most famous novelists, the land breathes, it feels alive - The Economist
Philida is a very powerful novel - Daily Mail
A moving story of one woman’s struggle against hierarchies of race and gender that seek her absolute subjugation, Philida vividly dramatises the courage required to lay claim to the protections of the law, to speak out for ones rights even in the moment in which the law is on the wrong side of history - Daily Telegraph
Brink tells this grand-guignol tale in harrowing style - Daily Express
A poignant tale of a slave woman's quest for liberation set in 19th century Cape Town - Glass Magazine
Mixing brutal historical fact with legend, the novel paints a fine picture of a disintegrating society - Mail on Sunday
Philida is a unique, illuminating and original book…utterly engaging - Herald
Brink writes beautiful prose, peppered with evocative descriptions of historic and often tragic Cape life - Regional Press (syndicated review)
Brink writes beautiful prose peppered with evocative descriptions of historic and often tragic Cape life - Irish Examiner
Brink's act of literary ventriloquism in Philida - his summoning of the voice of an illiterate slave-girl from the 1830s, in all its demotic sophistication and expressiveness - is undeniably astounding - Sunday Business Post
An unforgettable story of one woman’s determination to survive and be free - GQ magazine
The light and shade that Brink has skillfully introduced into his augmented family history make for a compelling and memorable novel - Guardian
Powerful - The Lady
[A] rich and unforgettable story - Lancashire Evening Post
André 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.