Agnes Sam: Jesus is IndianJesus is Indian & Other Stories
Agnes Sam
Paloma Books
Trade Paperback (B)
Modern Fiction
July 2011

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Author Interview

The title of the book ‘Jesus is Indian and other Stories” is taken from one of the short stories in the collection by Agnes Sam first published by the Women’s Press (London), and later by Heinemann Publishers (Oxford).

When the book was first published the author was interviewed by a Christian group who questioned her about the significance of the title.  The author requested that anyone interested in the title should read the book or the relevant short story. The author still requests that the book be read.

Heinemann published the paperback edition of  ‘Jesus is Indian’ under the imprint of the African Writers’ Series.

The introduction to ‘Jesus is Indian’ centers around a document held by the author’s  grandfather and discovered after his death. It revealed information about the Indians in South Africa that the author and the majority of Indians in that country, had no knowledge of.

Both hardcover and paperback editions were written and published while the author was living in York and exiled from South Africa.

Following the release of Robben Island prisoners, and the unbanning of political parties, the author visited South Africa for the first time in twenty years, was present for the 1994 elections and worked there for several years.

During this time the author researched her family background and with it the history of Indians in South Africa, along with that of other groups oppressed under apartheid.

The preface to the third edition of ‘Jesus is Indian’, published by Paloma Books and titled: ‘Our Place In South Africa’s History’ completes the first introduction that appeared in the first and second editions.

It answers the questions the author could not access from her home while in exile. viz.

  • Was her great-grandfather shanghaied as a boy from India to South Africa?
  • When did he become a Christian? In India? or In South Africa?
  • The preface also discloses some interesting information about the so-called ‘Coloured’ people in South Africa.

The first introduction will appear on this website soon, followed by the Preface to the third edition.

Table of Contents

Preface: Our Place in South Africa’s History
And They Christened It Indenture
The Story-Teller
High Heels
Jesus Is Indian
The Well-Loved Woman
A Bag of Sweets
Child and Dove
Nana and Devi
Two Women
The Seed

Previous Editions

Agnes Sam: Jesus is IndianJesus is Indian & Other Stories
Agnes Sam
Heinemann African Writers Series
Trade Paperback (B)
Modern Fiction
January 1994
Out of Print
Agnes Sam: Jesus is IndianJesus is Indian & Other SA Stories
Agnes Sam
The Women’s Press
Modern Fiction
November 1989
Out of Print