Risk begins on a train. It is 1999, and Hannah, a New York-born film researcher, is on her way to Johannesburg and crossing the terrain of her ex-lover Gem’s childhood. Next to her is the envelope he has sent her, and in it is the story of what happened to Gem when he was detained during South Africa’s state of emergency.
A detective story as well as a love story, a war story as well as a coming of age story, Risk is about the ways that the large movements of history affect the smaller movements of people’s day-to-day lives, the ways that personal identity is shaped by political conflict, and the ways we are changed when we cross geographical and emotional boundaries.
Originally published by Penguin SA, Risk was short-listed for Book of the Year by the journalist Jenny Crwys Williams.
An authentic, almost too realistic story that will haunt anyone who lived through the apartheid years.
-Angelique Serrano, The Johannesburg Star
A remarkably accomplished first novel.
-Beverley Roos Muller, The Cape Argus
A wonderful rendering of the South African novel.
-Jenny Crwys Williams, Talk Radio 702