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September 2021, no. 435

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Book of the Week


The Promise by Damon Galgut

Rachel Swart is in the final decline of a terminal cancer when she extracts a promise from her husband, Manie: he agrees to give their maid Salome the deed to the Lombard Place, a small house on the family’s farm. It is an act of recognition. Salome has cared for her, has mopped up ‘blood and shit and pus and piss’, doing the jobs Rachel’s family found ‘too dirty or too intimate’. It is 1986 in South Africa, and already the idea of giving Salome the land on which she lives can’t help but invoke the paranoid spectre of widescale repatriation.




From the Archive

From the Archive

November 2015, no. 376

Peter Kenneally reviews 'The Dressmaker'

I'm back, you bastards.' Jocelyn Moorhouse announces her return to the screen after eighteen years as vehemently as does her lead character, Tilly Dunnage, when…

From the Archive

May 2014, no. 361

Siri Hustvedt's 'The Blazing World'

A quote from Oscar Wilde in Siri Hustvedt’s The Blazing World crystallises the novel’s central study of adopted guises: ‘Man is least himself when he…

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