Abstract / Excerpt
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.