Absolution, by Patrick Flanery

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Patrick Flanery is not South African, and neither is his debut novel, Absolution. This is not to say that Flanery does not know South Africa or its politics, history, landscape, or culture, all of which pervade the book. Rather, this novel is more accurately defined as a dialogue with and about the past, whether South Africa’s struggle to come to grips with Apartheid and its aftermath, or our own individual conceptions of who we are, what we’ve done, and all of the hypothetical futures that were sacrificed to get us to the present.