Slovo, Gillian Red Dust

ISBN 13: 9781860498244

Red Dust

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9781860498244: Red Dust
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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...

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Review:

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 prosecutor now living in New York is summoned back to help her former mentor discover what happened to a young black activist, Steve Sizela. Steve's comrade, Alex Mpondo, will give testimony against a crony of the policeman suspected in the matter of Steve's disappearance and it is hoped that this will provide an opportunity to break the case. Slovo tracks the changes in South African political power dynamics adroitly. Here is an encounter between the former torturer now in the dock and his victim:

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 fatter ... Dirk shook himself. Prison must be making him stupid. What else had he expected? Mpondo was no longer a prisoner. He was an MP. No wonder he looked different.
While the moral universe of the novel is a complex one--the double-crossings and uncertainties allow Red Dust to read like a thriller, and no-one gets off lightly--the characters themselves feel somewhat schematic. We have also met them all before in more compelling guises. James Sizela, the missing Steve's father is something straight out of Alan Paton's Cry the Beloved Country. Pieter Muller, the murderous policeman, is a loving husband and an upright family man. While Red Dust is a rollicking good read, perhaps it moves a little too fast, risking becoming Truth and Reconciliation lite in the process. --Neville Hoad

Review:

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)

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780393323993: Red Dust: A Novel

Featured Edition

ISBN 10: 0393323994 ISBN 13: 9780393323993
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, 2003
Softcover

9781860499159: Red Dust: TV Tie-in

Virago, 2002
Softcover

9780393041484: Red Dust - a Novel

W. W. ..., 2002
Hardcover

9783125798106: Red Dust

Klett ..., 2005
Softcover

9780748112340: Red Dust

Softcover

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Slovo, Gillian
Published by Virago Press (2000)
ISBN 10: 1860498248 ISBN 13: 9781860498244
New Hardcover Quantity available: 1
Seller:
BennettBooksLtd
(San Diego, CA, U.S.A.)

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