The famously taciturn South African president reveals much of himself in Long Walk to Freedom . A good deal of this autobiography was written secretly while Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years on Robben Island by South Africa's apartheid regime. Among the book's interesting revelations is Mandela's ambivalence toward his lifetime of devotion to public works. It cost him two marriages and kept him distant from a family life he might otherwise have cherished. Long Walk to Freedom also discloses a strong and generous spirit that refused to be broken under the most trying circumstances--a spirit in which just about everybody can find something to admire. --
For years, I’ve wanted to write my life story; however, when I actually began getting down to it this summer, I’ve found the task more daunting that I had expected. Your comments, Curtis, about the differences between an autobiography and a memoir have helped clarify the type of writing this will become. I thought I was writing an autobiography, but according to your differentiation, it appears more like a memoir. The topic is “Full Circle” with many examples of how my life has come full circle. One example is that I was born in CA, moved away to other states, now have returned to CA. I was going to write it entirely in the first person, but tried the opening chapter in third person and found that to be intriguing. My dilemma is how to make this interesting so that someone other than my children and grandchildren will want to read it. In the end, that’s really all that’s important; however, actually selling it to someone who would buy it, wouldn’t be a bad move. Any suggestions you might have, would greatly be appreciated!