By Justine van der Leun
A gripping research within the vein of the podcast Serial—a summer time nonfiction decide by means of Entertainment Weekly and The Wall road Journal
Justine van der Leun reopens the homicide of a tender American girl in South Africa, an iconic case that calls into query our realizing of fact and reconciliation, loyalty, justice, race, and class.
“A masterpiece of suggested nonfiction . . . Justine van der Leun’s account of a South African homicide is destined to be a classic.”—Newsday
“[A] journey de force.”—Publishers Weekly
“Powerful . . . [a] beautiful portrait of a country.”—Library Journal
the tale of Amy Biehl is celebrated in South Africa: The twenty-six-year-old white American Fulbright pupil used to be brutally murdered on August 25, 1993, through the ultimate, fiery days of apartheid through a mob of younger black males in a township open air Cape city. Her mom and dad’ forgiveness of 2 of her killers grew to become an emblem of the reality and Reconciliation approach in South Africa. Justine van der Leun determined to introduce the tale to an American viewers. yet as she delved into the case, the present narrative began to get to the bottom of. Why didn’t the eyewitness experiences agree on who killed Amy Biehl? have been the lads convicted of the homicide truly chargeable for her demise? after which van der Leun stumbled upon one other brutal crime devoted at the comparable day, within the exact same sector. the real tale of Amy Biehl’s loss of life, it became out, was once not just a narrative of forgiveness yet a mirrored image of the complex heritage of a afflicted country.
We aren't Such Things is the results of van der Leun’s four-year research into this unusual, knotted story of injustice, violence, and compassion. the unusual twists and turns of this situation and its aftermath—and the tale that emerges of what occurred on that fateful day in 1993 and within the a long time that followed—come jointly in an unsparing account of existence in South Africa at the present time. Van der Leun immerses herself within the lives of her matters and paints a stark, relocating portrait of a township and its citizens. We come to appreciate that the problems on the center of her research are common in scope and strong in resonance. We aren't Such Things unearths how reconciliation is very unlikely with no an acknowledgment of the earlier, a lesson as appropriate to the US at the present time as to a South Africa nonetheless being affected by the lengthy shadow of its history.
Praise for We usually are not Such Things
“This suspenseful and engrossing tale calls into query the simplicities humans yearn for while justice is looked for a vicious crime. Justine van der Leun indicates how a strong wish for reconciliation can actually imprecise the reality, a fact we'd like so one can determine the fairness and justice that every one humans deserve.”—Piper Kerman, writer of Orange Is the recent Black
“What an success! This soaking up account of the pursuit of the reality approximately an notorious and symbolic crime is consummate in its succeed in and penetration.”—Norman Rush, writer of Mating
“This is a homicide tale informed with the dramatic rigidity of Truman Capote’s In chilly Blood and the precision of the superior nonfiction reporting. every one web page bursts with clean insights into the contradictions of modern day South Africa in addition to the elusiveness of discovering absolutely the truth.”—Barbara Demick, writer of Nothing to Envy and Logavina Street
“A interesting, clear-eyed trip into the disheartening political fact of latest South Africa.”—Jill Leovy, writer of Ghettoside