My Traitor's Heart: A South African Exile Returns to Face His Country, His Tribe, and His Conscience

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Grove Press, 2000 - 349 pages
7 Reviews
A classic of literary nonfiction, My Traitor's Heart has been acclaimed as a masterpiece by readers around the world. Rian Malan is an Afrikaner, scion of a centuries-old clan and relative of the architect of apartheid, who fled South Africa after coming face-to-face with the atrocities and terrors of an undeclared civil war between the races. This book is the searing account of his return after eight years of uneasy exile. Armed with new insight and clarity, Malan explores apartheid's legacy of hatred and suffering, bearing witness to the extensive physical and emotional damage it has caused to generations of South Africans on both sides of the color line. Plumbing the darkest recesses of the white and black South African psyches, Malan ultimately finds his way toward the light of redemption and healing. My Traitor's Heart is an astonishing book -- beautiful, horrifying, profound, and impossible to put down.

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User Review  - olivez -

i thought this was a spectacular personal narration of a young man's upbringing into South Africa as a sympathetic white man. He captures the complexity of living in such a tough place where people ... Read full review

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User Review  - AerialArmadillo -

"I'm burned out and starving to death, so I'm just going to lay this all upon you and trust that you're a visionary reader, because the grand design, such as it is, is going to be hard for you to see..." And it is, believe me. Read full review

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About the author (2000)

Rian Malan is a journalist, screenwriter and award-winning writer who was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. At the age of eighteen he became a crime reporter and was later exiled from his country for drug use. Malan wrote Traitor with a Wandering Heart, which describes the racism, politics and violence of his country. He has also appeared in Great Railway Journeys: Capetown to the Lost City, a travel video about South Africa. Malan is currently writing screenplays and magazine articles and is working on another book.

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