491 Days: Prisoner Number 1323/69


Product Details

$25.95  $23.87
Ohio University Press
Publish Date
6.13 X 9.22 X 0.46 inches | 0.76 pounds

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About the Author

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela lives in Orlando West, Soweto, South Africa, where she continues her activism and political service, currently on the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress.


"In 1969, five years after Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment for sabotage, Winnie Mandela was rounded up with other anti-apartheid activists and jailed for 16 months. The journal she kept during her imprisonment forms half of this book; the other half consists of letters by Nelson to his wife, daughters, relatives and prison officials. Throughout, the author documents sadistic maltreatment: a diet consisting mainly of insect-infested porridge, filthy cells, and, for many prisoners, daily beatings.... Taken together, these documents afford a chilling perspective on the Mandelas' personal and political struggles."--Kirkus Reviews
"For many years, Winnie Mandela was herself an icon who courageously resisted harassment and abuse by South African authorities, and was every inch the freedom fighter her husband was.... Between Mandela's measured lines--or embedded in them--is a fury and a steely faith that justice and the will of the people will eventually win the day.... Love--of family, of ideals--does not conquer all, but as this book memorably demonstrates, it is often the only thing standing between us and the abyss."--Ms. Magazine
"Mother, wife, prisoner, activist--Winnie's life is page-turning."--South African Broadcasting Corporation
"Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's more recent years have left her image tainted. But in her new book, a collection of letters and diary entries from her 491 days in prison, is a powerful reminder of what she was best known for.... These give a gripping insight into a family trying to survive under an onslaught from the regime. But in the journal and the letters, the couple's fierce resistance burns through."--Mail & Guardian, South Africa