From Prison to President: The Letters of Nelson Mandela
On the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth, comes a new portrait of one of the most inspiring historical figures of the twentieth century. Arrested in 1962 as South Africa’s apartheid regime intensified its brutal campaign against political opponents, forty-four-year-old lawyer and African National Congress activist Nelson Mandela had no idea that he would spend the next twenty-seven years in jail. During his 10,052 days of incarceration, Mandela wrote hundreds of letters to unyielding prison authorities, fellow activists, government officials, and most memorably to his wife, Winnie, and his five children. Now, 255 of these letters—a majority of which were previously unseen—provide an intimate view into the uncompromised morals of a great leader. In this special evening at ALOUD, Sahm Venter, the editor of this collection and a former Associated Press reporter who covered and was witness to Mandela’s release from prison in 1990, along with Zamaswazi Dlamini-Mandela, the granddaughter of Nelson and Winnie who wrote the foreword, will share the stage with writers to bring these deeply moving letters to life.
Join us for a post-program reception in the Library’s courtyard!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the reservation policy for ALOUD?
As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at 7 PM.
Why do programs fill so quickly?
ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.
Where does ALOUD take place?
Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.
- Where should I park for ALOUD programs?
Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?
We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.