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Margaret von Klemperer Reviews Saracen at the Gates by Zinaid Meeran

Saracen at the GatesZinaid MeeranVerdict: carrot
The title of this review, “Not politically correct”, is misleading. Von Klemperer applauds, instead of criticising, Meeran’s lack of concern about things PC and calls Saracen at the Gates a book deserving of a prize. Now which prize would that be?

Saracen at the Gates is this year’s winner of the European Union Literary Award, given annually to a South African debut novel. The first thing to say about it is that it is gloriously, deliberately politically incorrect, something we don’t see often enough in South African writing. Meeran is making a point here: it does us no harm to laugh at absurdities and prejudices. In doing so, we might well make the not- very-large jump towards recognising our own.

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