André Brink

Know Your Booker!: André Brink’s Philida

PhilidaSo you think you know everything there is to know about André Brink’s Booker nominated novel Philida? Test your knowledge against our GoodReads quiz here!

What’s it about?

Philida is described by the book’s publisher Harvill Secker as follows:

LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2012. An unforgettable story of a woman determined to find her freedom – set in South Africa in 1830s, as slavery was about to be abolished. The masterpiece from the twice Booker-shortlisted author.

Soon there must come a day when I can say for myself: This and that I shall do, this and that I shall not.

Philida is the mother of four children by Francois Brink, the son of her master. The year is 1832 and the Cape is rife with rumours about the liberation of the slaves. Philida decides to risk her whole life by lodging a complaint against Francois, who has reneged on his promise to set her free.

His father has ordered him to marry a white woman from a prominent Cape Town family, and Philida will be sold on to owners in the harsh country up north. Unwilling to accept this fate, Philida continues to test the limits of her freedom, and with the Muslim slave Labyn she sets off on a journey across the great wilderness on the banks of the Gariep River, to the far north of Cape Town. Philida is an unforgettable story of one woman’s determination to survive and be free.
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Book Review: 2012 Long Listed: André Brink’s Philida (Review #3)

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Rating: 2.5
Philida
A Novel by André Brink
2012 / 320 Pages

André Brink’s 2012 longlisted novel tells the story of Philida, a slave in South Africa in the mid 1830s.  Philida’s story begins with a journey to the slave protector’s office, where she files a formal complaint against her master’s son, Frans.  Over the years, Frans has promised Philida freedom in the heat of lovemaking, but has yet to deliver on his word.  In the meantime, Philida has given birth to several of Frans’s children, and she is impatient and frustrated.  But when Philida files her complaint, she is informed that, because Frans was never her master, he does not have the power to grant her freedom.  Only Frans’s father, Cornelis Brink, has such power, but he is an angry, cruel man and does not care about the well-being of Philida or his enslaved grandchildren.

Despite Philida’s low social status, she refuses to take no for an answer and devises her own means of escape and freedom, but not without encountering a great deal of pain and hardship along the way.  Told from alternating narrative voices, Philida is a heartbreaking, but inspiring story of one woman’s bravery and determination to achieve freedom for herself and her young children.

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Book Review: 2012 Long Listed: André Brink’s Philida (Review #2)

PhilidaRating: 3.0
Philida
A Novel by André Brink
2012 / 320 Pages

The Setup: The year is 1832 and the Cape is rife with rumours about the liberation of the slaves. Philida made a pact for freedom with Francois Brink, the son of her master, but he has reneged on his promise to set her free. Deciding to take matters into her own hands, Philida risks her life by setting off on foot for distant Stellenbosch, in a journey that begins with the small act of saying no. (from the hardcover edition)

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Book Review: 2012 Long Listed: André Brink’s Philida

PhilidaRating: 4
Philida
A Novel by André Brink
2012 / 320 Pages

The setup: Philida is the mother of four children by Francois Brink, the son of her master. The year is 1832 and the Cape is rife with rumours about the liberation of the slaves. Philida decides to risk her whole life by lodging a complaint against Francois, who has reneged on his promise to set her free.

His father has ordered him to marry a white woman from a prominent Cape Town family, and Philida will be sold on to owners in the harsh country up north. Unwilling to accept this fate, Philida continues to test the limits of her freedom, and with the Muslim slave Labyn she sets off on a journey across the great wilderness on the banks of the Gariep River, to the far north of Cape Town. Philida is an unforgettable story of one woman’s determination to survive and be free.  (From the hardcover edition)

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The Man Booker Award 2012 Longlist

ManBookerMan Booker fever is upon us!  Today the 12 novels that made the longlist were finally revealed and we’ve compiled each of their full descriptions for you below on one easy to read page.  The 6 titles that make the shortlist cut will be announced on September 11th and the ultimate winner of the prize will be announced on October 16th.

Look for this page to be updated with links to reviews as we continue to make our way through the longlist and keep checking BookerMarks for even more up to the minute Man Booker coverage.

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