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Unconfessed

by

Unconfessed Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

PEN/HEMINGWAY AWARD FINALIST

A fiercely poetic literary debut re-creating the life of an 19th-century slave woman in South Africa.

Slavery as it existed in Africa has seldom been portrayed—and never with such texture, detail, and authentic emotion. Inspired by actual 19th-century court records, Unconfessed is a breathtaking literary tour de force. They called her Sila van den Kaap, slave woman of Jacobus Stephanus Van der Wat of Plettenberg Bay, South Africa. A woman moved from master to master, farm to farm, and—driven by the horrors of slavery to commit an unspeakable crime—from prison to prison. A woman fit for hanging . . . condemned to death on April 30, 1823, but whose sentence the English, having recently wrested authority from the Dutch settlers, saw fit to commute to a lengthy term on the notorious Robben Island.

Sila spends her days in the prison quarry, breaking stones for Cape Town's streets and walls. She remembers the day her childhood ended, when slave catchers came — whipping the air and the ground and we were like deer whipped into the smaller and smaller circle of our fear. Sila remembers her masters, especially Oumiesies ("old Missus"), who in her will granted Sila her freedom, but Theron, Oumiesies' vicious and mercenary son, destroys the will and with it Sila's life. Sila remembers her children, with joy and with pain, and imagines herself a great bird that could sweep them up in her wings and set them safely on a branch above all harm. Unconfessed is an epic novel that connects the reader to the unimaginable through the force of poetry and a far-reaching imagination.

Synopsis:

This fiercely poetic literary debut re-creates the life of an 18th-century slave woman in South Africa. With extraordinary detail and authentic emotion, Christianse connects the reader to the unimaginable.

Synopsis:

A 2006 PEN/Hemingway Award finalist: "Impossible to put down, this work deserves a place beside such classics as Toni Morrison's Beloved and Edward P. Jones's The Known World."—Library Journal (starred review)

Slavery as it existed in Africa has seldom been portrayed—and never with such texture, detail, and authentic emotion. Inspired by actual 19th-century court records, Unconfessed is a breathtaking literary tour de force.

They called her Sila van den Kaap, slave of Jacobus Stephanus Van der Wat of Plettenberg Bay, in the colony of South Africa. They called her murderer, and demanded that she explain her terrible violence. A woman fit for hanging...condemned to death on April 30, 1823, only to have her sentence commuted to a lengthy term on the notorious Robben Island.

Sila spends her days in the prison quarry, breaking stones for Cape Town's streets or cleaning the Warden's house. Her fierce, sometimes tender voice recalls the dramatic events of her life—as well as its small, precious moments and pleasures. Unconfessed is an epic novel that connects the reader to the unimaginable through the force of poetry and a far-reaching imagination. Reading group guide included inside this edition.

About the Author

Yvette Christianse

Yvette Christianse was born in South Africa under apartheid and emigrated with her family via Swaziland to Australia at the age of eighteen. She is the author of the 1999 poetry collection Castaway. She teaches English and postcolonial studies at Fordham University and lives in New York City. Unconfessed, her first novel, was honored as a 2006 PEN/Hemingway Award finalist.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781590512814
Author:
Christianse, Yvette
Publisher:
Other Press
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
fiction;south africa
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20070917
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
360
Dimensions:
8 x 5 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Unconfessed Sale Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
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Product details 360 pages Handsel Books - English 9781590512814 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , This fiercely poetic literary debut re-creates the life of an 18th-century slave woman in South Africa. With extraordinary detail and authentic emotion, Christianse connects the reader to the unimaginable.
"Synopsis" by , A 2006 PEN/Hemingway Award finalist: "Impossible to put down, this work deserves a place beside such classics as Toni Morrison's Beloved and Edward P. Jones's The Known World."—Library Journal (starred review)

Slavery as it existed in Africa has seldom been portrayed—and never with such texture, detail, and authentic emotion. Inspired by actual 19th-century court records, Unconfessed is a breathtaking literary tour de force.

They called her Sila van den Kaap, slave of Jacobus Stephanus Van der Wat of Plettenberg Bay, in the colony of South Africa. They called her murderer, and demanded that she explain her terrible violence. A woman fit for hanging...condemned to death on April 30, 1823, only to have her sentence commuted to a lengthy term on the notorious Robben Island.

Sila spends her days in the prison quarry, breaking stones for Cape Town's streets or cleaning the Warden's house. Her fierce, sometimes tender voice recalls the dramatic events of her life—as well as its small, precious moments and pleasures. Unconfessed is an epic novel that connects the reader to the unimaginable through the force of poetry and a far-reaching imagination. Reading group guide included inside this edition.

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