In 1976, in rural South Africa, a family massacre takes place; a bloodbath whose only witness is a young black maid. Nearby is a state-owned school camp, run by Hendrik Deyer who lives on the grounds with his wife Petronella and their two sons, Werner and Marius. As Hendrik becomes obsessed with uncovering what happened, his wife worries about her neighbours, a poor white family whose malign influence on her son Werner is - she believes - making his behaviour inexplicably strange and hostile. One night another tragedy changes their lives, irrevocably.

Two decades later, Werner is living with his mother and invalid father in a small Pretoria flat. South Africa is a changed place. Werner holds a tedious job in the administration department of the local university and dreams of opening his own gallery. His father is bedridden, hovering on the edge of death. As Werner feels his own life slip away his thoughts turn to murder as a means to correct the course of all their futures. It is not possible to undo what happened in 1976, but Werner's desperation to change his own his fate will threaten not only his family but also those still living in the aftermath of what happened all those years ago.

Longlisted for the Green Carnation Prize

Shortlisted for Encore Award

The Curator

"Murder is everywhere you look in this dark and gripping novel … but it’s often achingly funny"  THE TIMES

 

"Accomplished… With is forcefully characterisedd anti-hero Werner, this is a book that will conjure favourable comparisons with other South African literary masters."  Barry Forshaw, THE INDEPENDENT

 

"An unflinching and occasionally shocking novel shot through with dark humour." THE HERALD

"The Curator is no joyride; it is a work of substance. There are elements of J.M. Coetzee (the cold matter-of-factness), Thomas Mann (the longing for beauty) William Golding (the presence of the primitive and the threat of violence) and Joseph Conrad (the darkness), to name a few. And yes, there is black humour too."  Deborah Steinmair, DIE VRYE WEEKBLAD.

PUBLISHER

Jonathan Cape,

Penguin Random House

2015