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Booker Prize Long List 2012,
This review is from: Philida (Hardcover)
I've just finished novel number two from the twelve on the long list and I must admit I haven't read the 1976 shortlisted "An Instant in the Wind" or the 1978 shortlisted "Rumours of Rain" by the same author. So this was a new experience with a writer I hadn't come across before.
This is the fictionalised tale of a the very real Philida, a slave in South Africa in the 1830's who we find travelling to the local town to lodge a formal complaint against the son of her boss, who had promised freedom in exchange for sexual favours. She has borne his children, been subjected to cruel punishments as a result and has finally decided that "no" is and answer she can pursue.
The early chapters are told in many narrative voices, although all are centred on the plight of Philida. The later part of the book becomes more her own narration with limited input from the other narrative voices. The early explanations of her plight are the ones that ring most true.
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