This Friday, we’re reading Christo Brand’s riveting biography: MANDELA: My Prisoner, My Friend.
Afrikaner Brand was a prison guard in the maximum security facility on remote Robben Island, given charge of the country’s most infamous inmate: Nelson Mandela. Over 12 years, Brand became Mandela’s confidant and accomplice, celebrating his prisoner’s triumphs and suffering through his setbacks, forming a bond that would endure throughout Mandela’s life.
Praise is glowing, starting with two starred reviews:
“[Brand] paints a vivid picture of prison life in South Africa at the time, with its racial discrimination—no bread was given to black prisoners—and the guards’ own isolation from news of the outside world. The central focus of this extraordinary book, however, is a remarkable friendship that bridged age, race, and politics, as Mandela went from prisoner to secret negotiator, and eventually became a revered president.”
— Publishers Weekly, starred review & 8/25/14 Pick of the Week
“[Brand] quotes Mandela’s LONG WALK TO FREEDOM that the most important person in any prisoner’s life is not the minister of justice or the prison superintendent but the warder in the prisoner’s section, and many readers of that iconic autobiography will want this for the in-depth perspective and intimate honesty of another insider’s view, then and now.” — Booklist, starred review
“This is really a tale of two men and their shared humanity in an inhuman place. A worthy addition to the canon of Mandela literature that details a relationship that many knew about but few truly understood.” — Kirkus Reviews
Expect more major media coverage, including Vanity Fair Hot Type (December issue) closer to publication.
MANDELA: My Prisoner, My Friend will be available on November 18, 2014 from Thomas Dunne Books.