A follow up to Nelson Mandela’s bestselling autobiography Long Walk to Freedom is to be published posthumously, detailing his years as South African president and to act as a “rallying cry” for democracy in Africa.
The book, which is currently untitled but which he provisionally called The Presidential Years, will be published in 2016.
His widow Graça Machel revealed after the publication of Long Walk to Freedom it had always been Mandela’s intention to publish a book about the years in government. Yet he died in 2013 with the manuscript unfinished.
The archives of the Nelson Mandela Foundation contain a “substantial but incomplete” personally written draft of the book, which he started working on in 1998, three years after the publication of the original.
Publisher Pan Macmillan said: “This manuscript, together with other, extensive archive material, will be brought together to offer the president’s unique perspective on the first democratically elected government in South Africa’s history”.
The book “will be candid and clear-eyed about the difficulties he faced while in office” starting from shortly after the original leaves off, as well as about the “fault lines” that run through contemporary South Africa.
Long Walk to Freedom, which sold more than 15 million copies, detailing his early life to spending almost three decades imprisoned on Robben Island after the apartheid government labelled him and the ANC as terrorists.
Mandela became president of South Africa in 1994, four years after his release from prison, and was hailed for his work in bringing together a divided country. The book was adapted into a film starring Idris Elba as Mandela.
Georgina Morley, editorial director of Pan Macmillan, said: “This documents an extraordinary achievement. To create a democracy in South Africa and for it still to be there, however troubled, is remarkable.”
She added: “It will be a rallying cry for democracy in all of Africa and not just South Africa. It’s about taking a place with many challenges and making a functioning government.”
Pan Macmillan had worked on other books with Mandela: Conversations with Myself, Nelson Mandela By Himself: The Authorised Book of Quotations and a version of Long Walk to Freedom for children.
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