South African novelist Sol T Plaatje (1876–1932) was a pioneer in the fight against racism in his country. He labored as a political activist to advance governmental reforms and promote civil rights for oppressed blacks. His Mhudi, penned in 1919–20 but published in 1930, represents the first full-length novel in English by a black South African writer.

Today regarded as a classic for its skillful utilization of the African oral narrative and its robust validation of the positive qualities of African customs, the story of Mhudi, the harvester, and her romance with birdman Ra-Thaga is set during the country’s cataclysmic wars of possession of the 1830s. Plaatje’s heroine, Mhudi, is an enduring symbol of resilience of spirit and the belief in a new day.
“. . . much more than a story of tribal wars. It is an allegory of the possibility of ethnic and racial unity, and of gender equality.” — Phaswane Mpe

“When I first read this beautiful work, I was absolutely in despair. I needed to copy the whole book out by hand so as to keep it with me. It is more than a classic; there is just no book on earth like it. All the stature and grandeur of the writer are in it.” — Bessie Head

“The humour and imagination which made Plaatje’s journalistic labour and his advocacy of his people so fruitful and acceptable are enlivening features of his last work.” — The Times Literary Supplement

“A must for all students of South African literature. Further, it gives us insight into the writings of one of our great political leaders.” — Mazisi Kunene
Table of Contents
1. A Tragedy and Its Vendetta
2. Dark Days
3. Rays of Sunshine
4. Revels after Victory
5. The Forest Home
6. Mhudi and I
7. The First Strangers
8. A Perilous Adventure
9. Arrival of the Voortrekkers
10. Umnandi
11. Soothsayers and Battles
12. A Sportive Dawn and Gloomy Dusk
13. With the Boers at Moroka's Hoek
14. Queen Umnandi's Flight
15. The Spies, their Adventures
16. Halley's Comet, its Influence on the Native Mind
17. War against the Matabele
18. Mhudi's Leap in the Dark
19. Mhudi and Umnandi
20. The Exodus
21. A Happy Reunion
22. A Contented Homecoming