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Yvette Christianse
Yvette Christiansë

South Africa-Born Novelist

Women's Voices Illuminating Cultures in Conflict

NYS Writers Institute, November 28, 2006
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Assembly Hall, Campus Center
8:00 p.m. Reading | Recital Hall PAC

UnconfessedYvette Christians ë
, poet and fiction writer, was born in South Africa, and emigrated with her parents via Swaziland to Australia at the age of eighteen. Unconfessed (2006), her first novel, tells the epic story of Sila van den Kaap, a slave of 19th century South Africa. Inspired by actual court records, the novel follows Sila's struggle for survival as she is passed from master to master, farm to farm, and ultimately, from prison to prison.

"Christiansë captures not only the breadth and complexity of Sila, a heroine for the ages, but also the moral crisis and political turmoil of 19th-century South Africa. . . . A gorgeous devastating song of freedom that will inevitably be compared to Toni Morrison's Beloved." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Christiansë is also the author of Castaway (1999), a unique work of poetry that consists of fictional documents from the island of St. Helena, where Napoleon was banished, and where Christiansë's grandmother lived. Employing multiple personae, the book explores the history of the island, and its legacy as a place of exile and enslavement.

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