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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

May 2013, no. 351

Jan McGuinness reviews 'The Memory Trap'

Andrea Goldsmith, in her seventh novel, plunges once more into a world of characters whose ideas and relationships swirl and churn around a psychological trigger.…

From the Archive

From the Archive

November 2009, no. 316

Chris Womersley reviews 'Truth' by Peter Temple

In Peter Temple’s phenomenally successful The Broken Shore (2005), detective Joe Cashin wonders what the right result might be in the case of murdered businessman and philanthropist Charles Bourgoyne. Lawyer and romantic interest Helen Castleman’s answer is succinct: ‘The truth’s the right result.’ The truth of The Broken Shore was murky, disturbing and came with a price ...

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