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The Relatively Public Life of Jules Browde

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The Relatively Public Life of Jules Browde

Daniel Browde 

ISBN 9781868427208

 "I sat there divided. Though my grandfather was visibly shaken by the force of this memory, and I knew I was seeing him more vulnerable than I had ever seen him, I felt a bubbly thrill because this was such good stuff, and I remember turning my eyes away from his distressed face to make sure the wheels of the dictaphone were still turning."


When Daniel is tasked with writing the biography of his grandfather, Jules Browde  one of South Africa’s most celebrated advocates  he sharpens his pencil and gets to work. But the task that at first seems so simple comes to overwhelm him. As the book begins to recede – month after month, year after year  he must face the possibility of disappointing his grandfather, whose legacy now rests uncomfortably in his hands.


The troubled progress of Daniel’s book stands in sharp contrast to the clear-edged tales his grandfather tells him. Spanning almost a century, these gripping stories compellingly conjure other worlds: the streets of 1920s Yeoville, the battlefields of the Second World War, the courtrooms of apartheid South Africa.


The Relatively Public Life of Jules Browde turns the conventions of a biography inside out. It is more than the portrait of an unusual South African life, it is the moving tale of a complex and tender relationship between grandfather and grandson, and an exploration of how we are made and unmade in the stories we tell about our lives.

The Author

Daniel Browde was born in 1976 in Israel, but has lived most of his life in South Africa. After completing a BA at Wits University he worked variously as a researcher, actor, and film editor. In 2001 he was nominated for a Vita Award for best supporting actor for his part in the play Proof. Browde lives with his partner, artist Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi, in Johannesburg.




Reviews, News & Interviews:


This is one of the most delightful books I have read in a long while. Peter Soal Cape Messanger



Read an extract from The Relatively Public Life of Jules Browde here.