Superb book by an underrated writer,
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This review is from: Philida (Kindle Edition)
I'm always surprised that not more people have come across the South African author André Brink: I've read a few of his books, which have been excellent. The difference between "Philida" and the others I have read is that this is shorter and less preoccupied with the villanies of South African government - which is unsurprising, since the book is set in the 1830s, and the central character is a black slave. It is just before the abolition of slavery in the country, and the central character, Philida, starts off as a simple black woman wanting - naïvely - to hold the son of her master to his promise to ensure she is freed. Her attempt to do so by complaining to the authorities comes to grief: but she has discovered that she has rights, which she stands up for with what power is within her. As the story progresses it attains some of the majesty of myth, as does she. The story is all the more moving since the family to whom Phylida originally "belonged" is Brink's own.