Peter Abrahams (1919-2017)

  • Hein Willemse University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


I never had the opportunity of meeting Peter Abrahams. I only knew him through his writings. I recall the mustiness of the copies of Wild Conquest (1950) and Tell Freedom (1954) I found hidden away behind books on a shelf at a relative’s house. Although the dust jackets of both were tattered the pages of Tell Freedom bore traces of heavy use. Not only did the latter title intrigue me but so did the palimpsests of readers past. That day I read it with increasing fervency. In

hindsight, it must have been one of the first times that I recognised some familiarity, perhaps even immediacy, in a piece of writing.