This is what it is to be a slave: that everything is decided for you from out there. You just got to listen and do as they tell you. You don’t say no. You don’t ask questions. You just do what they tell you. But far at the back of your head you think: Soon there must come a day when I can say for myself: This and that I shall do, this and that I shall not.
In Philida, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, André
Shortlisted for the 1976 Booker Prize
The year is 1749, when the Boers ruled South Africa. And so it has come to his Baas's final command to his Hottentot slave Adam, to flog his mother, because she refuses to prune the master's vineyard in order to attend her own beloved mother's funeral. And when he refuses to do so, and his Baas smashes his face with a piece of wood, Adam turns on him, and beats him almost to death. Then...