Bitter FruitBook - 2003
THE LAST TIME Silas Ali encountered the lieutenant, Silas was locked in the back of a police van and the lieutenant was viciously raping Lydia, Silas's wife. But a chance encounter twenty years later brings crimes from the past crashing into the present, shattering the fragile shell of normalcy that defines the Alis' family life. Bitter Fruit is the story of Silas, Lydia and their circle of friends and family living in post-apartheid South Africa. It is also the story of their son Mikey, a child of "the new South Africa," a young man whose own identity crisis, sexual adventuring and murderous search for his biological father are about to explode.With Bitter Fruit, Achmat Dangor ventures into territory no other South African writer has entered. The bitter fruits of apartheid--rape, incest, murder--are revealed in a riveting narrative that addresses the dynamic politics of race, history and the new elite in the context of contemporary times. But the novel is also a universal portrait of a modern family struggling to live in a dysfunctional society. By turns harrowing, erotic and fearlessly satirical, Bitter Fruit confirms the literary reputation of a gifted novelist.