The Assassin: A Story of Race and Rage in the Land of Apartheid (Paperback)

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On September 6, 1966, Dimitri Tsafendas entered South Africa's parliament, gripping a wickedly long knife, and stabbed Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd four times in the chest. This chilling study of the life of Tsafendas the homeless, stateless, and loveless illegitimate son of a Greek father and a black African mother gives us acrystalline vision of the tragic consequences of apartheid.

About the Author

Henk Van Woerden, a prize-winning author, was born in the Netherlands in 1947. He moved to South Africa as a child, studied fine art at the University of Cape Town, and in 1968 returned to Amsterdam, where he lives today. The Assassin has been nominated for two major Dutch awards and translated into five languages.

Praise For…

"Brilliant . . . A wrenching work of eloquent humanity and understated rage."—The New York Times Book Review

"This life has enough interest to warrant a biography, but Van Woerden's book is in an entirely different class . . . he brings both the relentless gaze of the outsider and the understanding of the insider . . . he deftly and subtly draws an intricate picture that is both astute and sickening, moving and grotesque. This is a must-read."—André Brink

"[Van Woerden] persuades us that Tsafendas's mere existence constituted a kind of anti-apartheid, and that in the defining act of his life 'the power of madness had . . . shown itself equal to the madness of power.'"—The New Yorker

"Van Woerden has . . . has fetched Tsafendas out of the darkness and our ignominious silence so that we may be acquainted with the full humanity of his existence. Thank you."—Breyten Breytenbach

"A quietly devastating work of reconstruction, giving back to the supposedly insane assassin a history of perpetual statelessness."—The Observer (London)

"Thoroughly successful . . . suggesting in intriguing ways how a new history of South Africa might be written."—J.M. Coetzee

"Powerful, tragic, and compelling."—African Sun Times

"An excellent look into the human tragedy caused by a dehumanizing system of racial classification and differentiation."—Booklist

Product Details
ISBN: 9780312420840
Publisher: Picador
Publication Date: July 1st, 2002
Pages: 192