[ Albie Sachs, South African activist. ] Typescript of his book 'Soft Vengeance of a Freedom Fighter', with variations from the published version.

Albie Sachs [ Albert Louis Sachs ] (b.1935), African National Congress activist and former judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa
Publication details: 
Without date or place, but between 1988, when the events described occurred in South Africa, and the publication of the book in 1990.
SKU: 17319

113pp., 8vo. On 57 leaves, stapled together, with white card backing. No title-page. Worn and aged, with first leaf detached, but in fair condition overall. In 1988, in Maputo, Mozambique, where Sachs was exiled as an ANC activist, he lost an arm and his sight in one eye when a bomb was placed in his car by agents acting for the South African Regime. Sach's memoir is an important document in the history of the South African freedom struggle. Widely praised on its publication, it received the Alan Paton Award in 1991. In the book's introduction Bishop Desmond Tutu praises it as 'a deeply moving account - so utterly frank, revealing his vulnerable self, warts and all. It is so beautiful, almost poetic, in describing the sense of his body, his sheer physicality, the role womenn have played in helping him come in touch with his body, helping him to become whole.' In an introduction to the 2011 edition Njabulo S. Ndebele describes it as a 'South African gift to the world'. The present item exhibits minor differences throughout from the published version, with small changes to the text and some rearrangement (for example a passage in Chapter 22 regarding the trade unionist John Nkadimeng), and is probably the version that was first offered to a publisher. The published version reworks and expands certain parts, for example a paragraph in Chapter 5 on a flashback Sachs didn't have at the time of the explosion, and a passage in Chapter 7 regarding his friend 'Gita'. For example, in the very first paragraph, 'instantly' in the typescript is replaced by 'abruptly' in the published version; 'something terrible' by 'a terrible thing'; 'tremendous sharp' by 'shuddering'; and 'suddenly' is deleted. From a South African emigre's archive.