dangor
2003 Shortlist

Bitter Fruit

artwork-image

ABOUT
THE BOOK

Johannesburg, 1998. Silas Ali, a former political activist, now a middle-aged civil servant working on the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, is shopping one Sunday morning when he bumps into a ghost from his past, Lieutenant de Boise, a retired security policeman. This chance encounter brings back a memory that Silas and his wife Lydia have been avoiding for twenty years. The past erupts into the present, cracking off the shell of normality that encloses their family life. This is the story of Silas and Lydia, and especially of their son Mikey, a university student with a curious mind and a calculating will, as their relationships fracture and their lives go off in new and surprising directions. Achmat Dangor deals with the difficult politics of race, with coloured identity, with the lifestyles of the new elite in ways that are refreshingly open and ironical. This novel is equally attuned to the brittle surface of urban life in post-apartheid South Africa and to the deeper, more disturbing historical currents that run beneath it.

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Achmat
Dangor

Achmat Dangor was born in Johannesburg in 1948, and after high school, lived in several small rural South African towns.

He studied literature at Rhodes University, and has published two poetry collections: Bulldozer (1983) and Private Voices (1992). His first three novels were Waiting for Leila (1981), The Z Town Trilogy (1990), and Kafka’s Curse (1997).

His novel Bitter Fruit (2003), was shortlisted for the 2003 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the 2004 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. It tells the story of Silas and Lydia Ali, a couple of mixed-race ancestry, and their son, and is set in post-apartheid South Africa.

His latest book is Strange Pilgrimages (2013), a collection of short stories with ‘the struggle years’ in South Africa as their central theme.

Achmat Dangor was born in Johannesburg in 1948, and after high school, lived in several small rural South African towns.

He studied literature at Rhodes University, and has published two poetry collections: Bulldozer (1983) and Private Voices (1992). His first three novels were Waiting for Leila (1981), The Z Town Trilogy (1990), and Kafka’s Curse (1997).

His novel Bitter Fruit (2003), was shortlisted for the 2003 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the 2004 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. It tells the story of Silas and Lydia Ali, a couple of mixed-race ancestry, and their son, and is set in post-apartheid South Africa.

His latest book is Strange Pilgrimages (2013), a collection of short stories with ‘the struggle years’ in South Africa as their central theme.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
01/11/2001
Country
South Africa
Original Language
English
Author
Publisher
Kwela Books

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