Pan Macmillan is to publish the sequel to the late Nelson Mandela’s autobiography Long Walk to Freedom (Abacus).
An incomplete draft of the new book, which does not yet have a title and which was started by Mandela before his death last year, is in the archives of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
His widow Graça Machel wants to fulfil Mandela’s intention to publish a full account of his time as president of South Africa, said Pan Macmillan, and so the draft, “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 “provide readers with both an unprecedented account of Mandela’s extraordinary presidency and a deep personal insight into the man behind the international statesman”.
Machel said: “Madiba started working on a manuscript provisionally titled The Presidential Years in 1998. He wanted to put on record his own reflections of those important years in his life (1994-1999) when he was president of South Africa. The book he had in mind was to be a natural progression from his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom. Circumstances did not allow him to complete the project. I am very pleased that a team comprising former senior advisors of his have accepted responsibility for completing this unfinished task on his behalf.”
Pan Macmillan previously worked with the Nelson Mandela Foundation on Conversations with Myself and Nelson Mandela By Himself: The Authorised Book of Quotations.
Editorial director Georgina Morley said working on “this remarkable project will be an even greater privilege”.
“The sequel to Long Walk to Freedom will not only tell Mr Mandela’s story from his release to his retirement from government, but will also be a rallying cry that will remind readers everywhere what he stood for – and how it is still possible for his vision and his political philosophy positively to change not only South Africa but the world,” she added.
Macmillan acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to the bookfrom Jonny Geller at Curtis Brown, representing the Nelson Mandela Foundation and PQ Blackwell.
Anthony Forbes Watson, m.d. of Pan Macmillan, said: “The unique, uplifting achievement that is Mandela's life continues to resonate around a troubled world and my colleagues in South Africa, India and Australasia are as proud as we are in the UK, to publish this extraordinary testament.”
Long Walk to Freedom, which was released in 1995, has sold 440,112 copies through Nielsen BookScan since records began in 1998.
Last year Penguin Press imprint Allen Lane published Good Morning, Mr Mandela, a memoir by the late Nelson Mandela’s assistant Zelda la Grange.