Manu Herbstein

Manu Herbstein’s first novel, ‘Ama, a Story of the Atlantic Slave Trade, recently published in South Africa by Picador Africa, won the 2002 Commonwealth Writers Best First Book Prize. Set in the late eighteenth century, it tells the story of a young woman who is captured and enslaved in the West African savannah and transported to Brazil. Here, Herbstein reflects on the historical background to his novel and some of its contemporary implications.

Some forty years ago the more