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My Traitor's Heart

My Traitor's Heart


By (author) Rian Malan

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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 432 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 194mm x 30mm | 299g
  • Publication date: 18 January 2000
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099749009
  • ISBN 13: 9780099749004
  • Sales rank: 78,687

Product description

Rian Malan is an Afrikaner, a member of the clan that produced Daniel Francois Malan, one of the master builders of apartheid, and General Magnus Malan, South Africa's Minister of Defence. In 1977, he fled his homeland to live in America. Eight years later, he returned home to face his country, his tribe and his conscience, and to write My Traitor's Heart.

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Author information

Rian Malan was born in South Africa in 1954. His first book, My Traitor's Heart, was a best-seller. He has worked extensively as a journalist in South Africa and in the United States. He has since returned to Johannesburg to live.

Review quote

"Rian Malan has written a tragic masterpiece and a classic of our time" Time Out "My Traitor's Heart is a tremendous book about candour, honour and race, a witness-bearing act of the rarest courage. No one who reads it could ever forget it" Michael Herr "A tortured, mesmerising attempt to capture exactly the conflicts of [Malan's] upbringing, conflicts that went to the soul of the emerging nation." Guardian "The remorseless exercise of a reporter's anguished conscience gives us a South Africa we thought we knew all about: but we knew nothing" -- John Le Carre "A great swirling devil of a book and it is equal in every way to its vast subject - the black and white country of the heart" -- Don DeLillo

Editorial reviews

This is the most powerful book about the apartheid era by a white author. Daniel Malan, PM of South Africa 1948, who originated 'apartheid' legislation was Rian Malan's ancestor. After reconstructing his family's 300-year history of pioneering, conquest and exploitation, the book recounts Malan's own experiences, as a journalist, of white/black, black/black and white/white violence and atrocity with an accuracy that is almost too much to bear, precisely because the reader knows that none of it is imaginary. The author's final admission of his own culpability as a white Afrikaner is moving and real. Anyone who wishes to understand the sources of conflict in South Africa should read this book. (Kirkus UK)