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An unforgettable story of a woman determined to find her freedom - set in South Africa in 1830s, as slavery was about to be abolished.

Philida, André Brink

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.


Available Formats

  • Paperback
    $22.99 RRP
    ISBN: 9780099578758
    Published: 01/03/2013
    Imprint: Vintage
  • eBook
    ISBN: 9781448139705
    Published: 31/07/2012
    Imprint: Vintage Digital
    Extent: 320 pages
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"A compelling and memorable novel" - Alex Clark, Guardian

"Rich and complex" - Paul Dunn, The Times

"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" - Michael Arditti, 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" - Patrick Flannery, Daily Telegraph

"Brink tells this grand-guignol tale in harrowing style" - Christopher Bray, 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" - Anthony Gardner, Mail on Sunday

"Philida is a unique, illuminating and original book…utterly engaging" - Chris Dolan, Herald

"Brink writes beautiful prose, peppered with evocative descriptions of historic and often tragic Cape life" - Regional Press (syndicated review)

André Brink

André Brink

Andre Brink (1935 - 2015) was one of South Africa's most prominent writers and is the author of several novels, including A Dry White Season, Imaginings Of Sand, The Rights of Desire, The Other Side Of Silence and Philida. He has won South Africa's most important literay prize, the CNA Award, three times and has twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. His last novel, Philida, was longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2012.