Books

Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

My Traitor’s Heart

A South African Exile Returns to Face His Country, His Tribe, and His Conscience

by Rian Malan

‘malan is bent on uncovering another level altogether of South African life, and he does so beautifully. . . . He sharply expands our understanding of his strange, strange country’s complexities.” –William Finnegan, The New York Times

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 368
  • Publication Date April 24, 2000
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-3684-8
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $16.00
  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Publication Date March 11, 2012
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-9390-2
  • US List Price $16.00

About The Book

My Traitor’s Heart is an astonishing work of reportage, at once beautiful, horrifying, and profound—a book unlike any other about South Africa. Rian Malan is an Afrikaner, scion of a centuries-old clan deeply involved in the creation of apartheid. As a young crime reporter, Malan covered the atrocities of an undeclared race war and ultimately fled the country, unhinged by what he had seen. Eight years later, he returns to confront his own demons, and those that are tearing his country apart. Written in the final years of apartheid’s bloody collapse, My Traitor’s Heart still resonates, offering a chilling—but ultimately redemptive—vision of the darkest recesses of the black and white South African psyches.

Praise

“A tremendous book about candor, honor, and race, a witness-bearing act of the rarest courage. No one who reads it could ever forget it.” –Michael Herr

“Here is truth-telling at its most exemplary and courageous. 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 Carr”

“Rian Malan is a master of landscape and a master of narrative, with a gift of living language that bubbles up from a full heart and an active mind.” –V.S. Naipaul

‘malan is bent on uncovering another level altogether of South African life, and he does so beautifully. . . . He sharply expands our understanding of his strange, strange country’s complexities.” –William Finnegan, The New York Times

My Traitor’s Heart grips you by the throat and won’t let go.” –Peter Gorner, The Chicago Tribune

“A passionate, blazingly honest testament . . . Those who read it will never again see South Africa in quite the same way.

” –Christopher Hope, Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Rian Malan could always see the story when others had long since lost the plot. Sometimes he went completely off his head as he drew out the fugitive detail, digging in dirt for a diamond, shaking up the grievously overlooked. He tried to escape the word. He went fishing for five years, trying to hide from the relentlessly pursuing plot, but to no avail. When it comes to writing, Malan is dangerously good and there is no getting away.” –Lin Sampson

“A book that is part investigative reportage, part personal confession, and in all respects remarkable. . . . Penetrating, comprehensive, and–in its relentless accumulation of ghastly detail–heartbreaking.” –Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post Book World

“Here, as in nothing I’ve read before, is the demotic voice of black and Afrikaner South Africa. . . . Triumphant.” –Salman Rushdie

“”an unflinching and intimate story of a man fighting against injustice in his homeland, even as he must come to terms with his own family’s poisonous role there.” –Austin Merrill, Vanity Fair