by Gerald Kraak
Shadow Play is a powerful novel of subterfuge, betrayal, risk and deep bonds of friendship formed during a time of struggle and pain while a new nation, determined to rise, faces seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
When confronted with his call-up papers for the apartheid army, with his fellow student activists either scattered or in jail, Matthew chooses exile in Europe. In Amsterdam, he reconnects with his friend Oliver, who is studying music there. As he falls into a different rhythm of life, as contented as he is in a loving relationship and a job in a music store, the pull of his homeland never leaves him. When he receives an unexpected call from a former activist comrade, he makes a decision that will put at risk everything he has built in his new life. And when he meets Mandla for the first time, he knows there will be no going back.
For Matthew, the reality of living as a refugee and an immigrant in Europe begins to intrude and with it a new and sometimes disquieting understanding of protest politics and the liberal ideal. For Mandla, directions to a liberated country that were once clear to him and untainted by self-interest and the seduction of power, become blurred at times and increasingly uncomfortable. Both men have to search deep in their hearts when they are asked to make choices that challenge them morally, personally and politically.
(Author Gerald Kraak passed away in 2014. Kraak was in the process of writing Shadow Play when he died, leaving an unfinished draft in the care of his literary executor with the novel evenutally being completed by Alison Lowry).
Title: Shadow Play
Author: Gerald Kraak and Alison Lowry
Paperback, 247 pages