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Mandela’s unseen prison letters to be read at Union Chapel

REMEMBERED: Nelson Mandela

FREEDOM OF expression charity English PEN will host an evening that explores the letters written by Nelson Mandela from his time spent in prison.

The event, which is set to take place on July 17 will bring together guests across literature, art, journalism, activism and politics, where several of them will perform the letters which have remained unpublished until now.

The evening will also celebrate the release of the new book, The Prison Letters of Nelson Mandela that will be published on July 10.

Alongside Mandela’s granddaughter Zamaswazi Dlamini-Mandela, book editor Sahm Venter said: “Madiba’s letters are each, on their own, so rich and each one adds to the existing body of knowledge about his life in prison and at times before he went in.

“Every piece of writing by Madiba adds a new thread to the existing body of knowledge we have of him and his life and times.”

The thrilling book chronicles Mandela's period of imprisonment from 1962 to 1990 through letters sent to his family, loved ones, prison authorities and government officials.

Director of English PEN Antonia Byatt said: “Today hundreds of writers languish in prison for speaking out, as Mandela did. At PEN we know communication with the outside world for prisoners is crucial.

Through PEN thousands of people around the world have sent letters to writers in prison to bolster their spirit and to support freedom of expression."

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