Ivan Vladislavic is a South African writer and book editor. A few years ago at a literary festival in South Africa, I was asked to stand in for him on a panel. The reason he could not make it was that he had returned from Europe to find his house-sitter murdered in his house in Johannesburg. I only offer this information because I think it is telling. Almost everybody in Johannesburg has friends or relatives who have been hijacked or robbed or killed. Nadine Gordimer endured being robbed and locked up in her own house.