Night of the Dogs, by lesser-known South African treasure, Maruwan Gasant, is a thought-provoking and insightful look at today’s South Africa, and the difficulties faced by ordinary people in crossing the racial divide.
Night of the Dogs is set in modern-day South Africa, post-Apartheid, post golden era, where the dust has settled and ordinary people get on with their lives. It take place mostly on a farm called Toekoms, in the Western Cape. The farm’s history is torrid and its citizens are ruled by a curse that spans back to the San, who were the first to come across the lush valley.
Gasant delves fearlessly into race relations within South Africa, into our recent violent past, and into the prejudices still held by many. He explores the effects of these prejudices through the eyes of one family that spans three generation. It carries a measure of discomfort that comes with confronting one’s own prejudices head on. A tale of fear, ignorance, violence and revenge is told beautifully. Gasant writes believable characters, characters you can understand, even when they are at their worst, characters you can root for, characters you can pity.
Even at its darkest, Night of the Dogs brings a glimmer of hope through the eyes of the youngest generation.
eReads rating: 4 Stars
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