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The Unspeakable

by Peter Anderson

Powerful and provocative, The Unspeakable is as unforgettable as it is unsettling. It centers on the conflicted being of the white male under apartheid. Unlike many of the great novels of the apartheid era, it renounces any claim to the relative safety zone of moralistic dissociation from the racist crime against humanity, and cuts instead to the quick of complicity.

It is sometimes said of Albert Camus’s The Stranger that everything would have turned out very differently had the murder only taken place “a few hundred miles to the South.” This is that South with a vengeance.



“A tautly written, finely crafted novel that plumbs the depths of racism, not only as it occurred in South Africa under apartheid, but by extension as it continues in much of the world today.”
— starred review, Kirkus Review


“A deftly written and completely engaging novel; author Peter Anderson has an impressive gift for weaving together a complex story with memorable characters and social issues, some of which continue to reverberate. . . A compelling read from beginning to end, The Unspeakable is very highly recommended. . .”
— Midwest Book Review


“. . . A raw and haunting novel that puts us in the heart of apartheid South Africa. But in the end, The Unspeakable is an exploration of the human heart under duress. It is an outstanding achievement.”
— Hunt Tooley, historian