Bitter Fruit by Achmat Dangor - review by Rachel Holmes

Rachel Holmes

Truth & Reconciliation

Bitter Fruit

By

Atlantic Books 281pp £10.99 order from our bookshop
 

As HE DEMONSTRATED in his first novel, Kafka's Curse (1997), the South African writer Achmat Dangor has no interest in simplistic representations of his country's current situation. nor are his themes confined to its borders. Bitter Fruit is a subtly layered tale of truth, reconciliation and redemption. It follows a family struggling to come to terms with the fact that its existence is founded on violence: a war crime, for which the perpetrator has sought amnesty.

Lawyer Silas Ali, one-time hero of the armed struggle, is now a ministerial adviser in the Justice Department, 'trying to reconcile the irreconcilable'. When he comes across former Police lieutenant Du Boise in a Johannesburg shopping mall, he is undone by a nineteen-year-old memory: the rape of his wife, Lydia,

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter