My Traitor's Heart

A South African Exile Returns to Face His Country, His Tribe, and His Conscience

Ranked #6 in South Africa, Ranked #65 in Africa

A classic of literary nonfiction, My Traitor's Heart has been acclaimed as a masterpiece by readers around the world. Rian Malan is an Afrikaner, scion of a centuries-old clan and relative of the architect of apartheid, who fled South Africa after coming face-to-face with the atrocities and terrors of an undeclared civil war between the races. This book is the searing account of his return after eight years of uneasy exile. Armed with new insight and clarity, Malan explores apartheid's legacy of hatred and suffering, bearing witness to the extensive physical and emotional damage it has caused... more

Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of My Traitor's Heart from the world's leading experts.

Philip Gourevitch It goes deep, deep, deep into individual lives, which I increasingly have come to believe is the only way that we can understand these large, political shapes, particularly in stories that are foreign to us. (Source)

Murtaza Mohammad Hussain This is an amazing book I’d never heard of. I feel it should be read by all Americans but even more so people from countries like Israel that are governed according to a system of racial caste (Source)

Kevin Bloom Rian was commissioned by Random House to go and write the story of the history of his clan, but he realised 100 pages in that the story was actually a memoir and it was about his struggle. (Source)

Heather Brooke Perhaps the most important memoir that has ever been published by a white South African. A man who stared into the irreconcilable inner turmoils that are implicit in the condition of African whiteness. (Source)

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