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Chris Minaar is a distinguished South African writer who has lost his gift for the word. That is, until, he meets Rachel, a woman destined to become the great love of his life, a love greater for being unfulfilled. Before I Forget is the final act of Chris's creative life; it is the coming together of all the chaotic pieces of his existence. It is much more than the story of how he met Rachel; it is the story of his life and his lifetime of loves. There are brief affairs, extended affairs, even a marriage and in all of them we find Chris retelling his joys and pains in such a way that they move us to tears and beyond. Erotic, searingly honest, and a profoundly moving novel, this is the history of a life set against the history of a nation and, more than anything, a tribute to lost lovers and our very ability to love at all.
He is the chieftain leader of the Khoikhoi, a nomadic people derogatorily called "Hottentot"' by European colonists. She is a white woman left behind by Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama's crew when they rounded Africa's southern tip in 1498. Their romance is the core of this powerful novella. According to Portuguese myth, Zeus turned Adamastor into the rocky cape of the South African peninsula. André Brink's parable suggests that white Europeans have punished native Africans in the same way. With this novel, Brink takes us to the heart of the relationships that define South Africa'smodern history."Peter Carey, Garcia Marquez, Solzhenitsyn: André Brink must be considered with that class of writer." -Guardian
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 no. 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 not.In Philida, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, André Brink--"one of South Africa's greatest novelists" (The Telegraph)--gives us his most powerful novel 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 north. Here is the remarkable story--based on individuals connected to the author's family--of a fiercely independent woman who will settle for nothing and for no 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 north of the country--in order to reclaim her soul.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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