Joel's Reviews > My Traitor's Heart: A South African Exile Returns to Face His Country, His Tribe, and His Conscience

My Traitor's Heart by Rian Malan
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's review
Oct 01, 2011

really liked it
Read in June, 2011

It's hard to "like" a book that focuses on something as atrocious as apartheid, but I found My Traitor's Heart enlightening while I was living in South Africa. Rian was an Afrikaner disillusioned by his own race and family, as they supported (or at least did not resist) severe racism. Rian rebelled to some extent but mostly seemed to feel paralyzation in the face of dangerous options. Standing against his people made him their enemy, but marching with the oppressed was equally perilous, as both sides distrusted those outside the mold. Rian's challenges will never compare to the harrowing experiences of black South Africans, but it was still interesting to see Apartheid from his kind but troubled Afrikaner heart.
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