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August 04 , 2008

The Cry of Winnie Mandela


The life story of Winnie Mandela remains one of the great dramas of our times, an ongoing tale of triumphs and tragedies that is still unfolding. In the Cry of Winnie Mandela, a highly acclaimed novel first released in 2003, Njabulo S. Ndebele focuses on four women at a specific period in the history of southern Africa who have spent time waiting for their men to return. Their ordinary, private stories are anchored to the more powerful public stories of Penelope, of ancient Greek mythology, who waited eighteen years while her husband Odysseus was away, and Winnie Mandela, who waited for twenty-seven years. The women question themselves and each other about why they waited and what this waiting did to them, leading to a series of extraordinary and haunting conversations with one another as well as with Penelope and Winnie.

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