Van-Dis
2015 Longlist

Betrayal

Translated from the original Dutch by Ina Rilke
artwork-image

ABOUT
THE BOOK

Mulder, a Dutchman, returns at last to South Africa, his memories scattered by forty years and two strokes.

Once he fought to free the country from apartheid; now he finds its people asking whether years of democracy have left them any better off. The village where his friend Donald – a comrade from his Fraternité days – lives is as segregated as ever: fishermen struggle to eke out a living and kids wreck their brains with crystal meth.
Tensions are high: Donald wages a campaign against the local mayor; every day the whites add inches to their perimeter fences. So when Mulder and Donald attempt to help a young tik-head get clean against his will, their muddled good intentions can only be misunderstood…

 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Adriaan
van Dis

Adriaan van Dis, born in Holland in 1946, is a leading Dutch writer and popular television show host. He is the author of a number of books, both fiction and nonfiction, of which this is the first to be translated into English.

Adriaan van Dis, born in Holland in 1946, is a leading Dutch writer and popular television show host. He is the author of a number of books, both fiction and nonfiction, of which this is the first to be translated into English.

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Ina
Rilke

Ina Rilke is a Mozambique-born translator who specializes in translating Dutch literature and French literature into English.

Born in Mozambique, she went to school in Porto in Portugal, attending Oporto British School. She studied translation at the University of Amsterdam, where she later taught.

Writers she has translated include Hafid Bouazza, Louis Couperus, Hella Haasse, W. F. Hermans, Arthur Japin, Erwin Mortier, Multatuli, Cees Nooteboom, Connie Palmen, Pierre Péju and Dai Sijie. Rilke has won the Vondel Prize, the Scott Moncrieff Prize and the Flemish Culture Prize. She has also been nominated for the Best Translated Book Award, the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, and the IMPAC Book Award.

Ina Rilke is a Mozambique-born translator who specializes in translating Dutch literature and French literature into English.

Born in Mozambique, she went to school in Porto in Portugal, attending Oporto British School. She studied translation at the University of Amsterdam, where she later taught.

Writers she has translated include Hafid Bouazza, Louis Couperus, Hella Haasse, W. F. Hermans, Arthur Japin, Erwin Mortier, Multatuli, Cees Nooteboom, Connie Palmen, Pierre Péju and Dai Sijie. Rilke has won the Vondel Prize, the Scott Moncrieff Prize and the Flemish Culture Prize. She has also been nominated for the Best Translated Book Award, the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, and the IMPAC Book Award.

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

A novel of political importance, beautifully written. Dutchman Mulder visits with his old friend Donald as he returns to South Africa, a land he knew during the days of apartheid. Life may have moved on and apartheid ceased but some things have worsened, different isn’t necessarily better. The black townships still suffer and squalid conditions still prevail for those not black enough. Van Dis brings a story of deprivation without preaching, instead he shows us the results of the complex contributions flawed humanity, politics, power and resource distribution have made in South Africa. What happens when two white men, forty years ago active in the resistance against apartheid, meet each other again? Does the new South Africa reflect their old ideals?

A man returns to South Africa in search of his past. Within a world of crime and corruption he takes pity on a drug user. South Africa of the poor can be smelled in this magnificent novel full of character. The poor whose only wealth is hope. Direct dialogues, colourful descriptions, and a very nice psychological profile of the main characters.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Country
Netherlands
Original Language
Dutch
Publisher
MacLehose
Translator
Ina Rilke
Translation
Translated from the original Dutch by Ina Rilke

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