• Title: The Lion Sleeps Tonight
  • Author: Rian Malan
  • Released: 2012-11-06
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 368
  • ISBN: 0802119905
  • ISBN13: 978-0802119902
  • ASIN: 0802119905
From Bookforum Malan supplies a sharply personal account of apartheid's final days—and the emergence of a postapartheid order. He seems to make it his business... to try to dismantle his own preconceptions about South Africa and its potential, while also debating those who harbor views of the black-led South Africa that he deems overly romantic. He admits he was wrong, but then sets out to prove that everyone else was, too. As a result, Malan's testimony from the witnes-box is chiefly a summary of his attempts to truly see the new South Africa. —Victor Lavalle

Review “[Malan is] a master storyteller, with a gift for conjuring a sense of place and an ear for engaging dialogue. . . . His best stories take you places you have never been and introduce you to characters who in lesser hands would be caricatures. . . . Malan captures the tension between hope and despair as few others have.”—The New York Review of Books

“Exhibiting the same fiercely lyrical voice that made My Traitor’s Heart so compelling, the book is a beautiful, wry, often angry account of where South Africa has been and where it is going. . . . The dominant voice in a Malan story is his own wonder at the beauty, chaos and paradoxes of his continent. . . . Malan is one of the finest nonfiction writers alive, and American readers should treasure this chance to get to know him again.”—The Wall Street Journal

“[The Lion Sleeps Tonight] reflects the chaos, hope, and amazing stories since the end of apartheid. . . . brilliant writing on everything from the origins of the ‘Lion King’ theme song to Mbeki’s legacy—and how he blew it on AIDs. . . . Malan’s new collection spans the years between 1994 and 2008, when South Africa oscillated between the extremes of “terror and ecstasy,” sometimes in the same week, as it lurched into its brave new world. Malan’s essays capture the transition in all its dysfunction and glory. . . . It’s a dizzying ride, one on which Malan serves as an expert, if somewhat curmudgeonly, guide. . . . a devilishly talented writer and storyteller.”—The Daily Beast

"Top-shelf writing . . . the pages of his book begin to seem like a path strewn with rose petals."—Bookforum

“Malan is a great storyteller and sometime polemicist . . . a consistently vivid, energetic writer. It’s hard not to keep reading The Lion Sleeps Tonight once you've started, and even when you’re done you're likely to page back through the book in case there's something you missed.”—The Mail and Guardian (South Africa)

“The Lion Sleeps Tonight, quite simply, is outstandingly good.”—The Daily Maverick (South Africa)

“Malan is, as I think most South Africans know, an absolutely remarkable writer—perhaps one of the best writers and commentators in the world.”—The Daily Dispatch (South Africa)

“Cynical, lively and, above all, opinionated. . . . [The Lion Sleeps Tonight] provides a fascinating glimpse of post-apartheid South Africa.”—The Sunday Times (UK)

“[A] startling collection of essays. . . . South Africa should treasure Malan, but it won’t. One suspects that he wouldn’t have it any other way.”—The Sunday Times (UK)

“[Malan] is not interested in generalizations, or political theories, or rosy speculation, or myths, or race theory, but in simple justice. . . . Malan is South Africa’s Christopher Hitchens, similarly touched with genius.”—The Daily Telegraph

“Malan’s sardonic narration offers a succinct picture of South Africa today.” —Irish Examiner

“A book ripe with horrors. But also—and you can feel the astonishment in his words when he says as much—strange new moments of hope. . . . Animated by anger and a savage irony, yet always controlled, clear and readable.”—Sunday Herald (UK)

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