By Gillian Slovo
* From the bestselling author of EVERY SECRET THING comes an extraordinary novel of the truth Commission, set in a hot and dry South African town.
There was probably only one person who could make Sarah Barcant, successful prosecutor, leave New York and return home to Smitsrivier, the small town in South Africa she left years before. Ben. Her lawyer mentor and inspiration; the man who encouraged her to get out and know the world now needs her back, to help him with one last case, part of the Truth Commission.
In the back of a van, handcuffed, Dirk Hendrickes is being driven to the police station where once he was proud to call himself deputy. Later, down the same hot,dry road, will come Alex Mpondo, alternating between cursing Dirk and feeling sick at the idea of facing him, his torturer. And in Smitsrivier: James Sizela, who has passed years waiting for the moment when the man he is certain killed his son, will be forced to tell where the body lies. The people who are about to meet their pasts will not experience the real truth-telling in the court room, at the public show. The real truth will be felt offstage...
Gillian Slovo (father Joe Slovo, mother Ruth First) was educated in Britain where she has spent all her adult life. Since Nelson Mandela's release she has made frequent visits to South Africa. She has written seven books.
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- Publication date:
03 Jan 2002
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A rich, ambitious and powerful novel. — THE TIMES
This is a beautifully written novel, with the pace and twists of a thriller and the atmosphere, scents and space of Africa. — GUARDIAN
Covers the territory of Bernard Schlink's post-Holocaust novel The Reader as well as J.M. Coetzee's Booker-winning Disgrace. — SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
Red Dust follows Gillian Slovo's remarkable memoir Every Secret Thing. The novel tells the story of what happens to Smitsrivier, a small town in the Karroo when the Truth and Reconciliation Commission comes to visit. Sarah Barcant, a successful prosecuto — Not just any man, Alex Mpondo. Alex who was smart in a black suit and a flash yellow shirt that looked like it might have been sewn from silk ... The changes covered every aspect of the man. He seemed taller, more confident, more at ease and even slightly