463 pp., map, illus., paperback, Reprint, Johannesburg, (1989) 2003
Jeff Peires makes use of oral traditions, obscure Xhosa texts, letters and secret reports of police informers and colonial officials to explain the roles of Nongqawuse, her uncle Mhlakaza, and Sir George Grey in bringing about the events that led to an entire people dying of starvation. This book won the 1989 Alan Paton Sunday Times Award for non-fiction.
Jeff Peires wrote this book while lecturing at Rhodes University. In 1994 he was elected as an ANC representative to Parliament. From 2010-2012 he was Head of the Cory Library in Grahamstown. He is currently Adjunct Professor at Fort Hare in Alice. He is also the author of "The House of Phalo, a history of the Xhosa people in the days of their independence".