An Act of Defiance
How do you imagine the future when your story traps you in the past?
Harare, 2000. Gabrielle is a newly-qualified lawyer, fighting for justice for a young girl. Ben is an urbane and charismatic junior diplomat, attached to Harare with the American embassy. With high-level pressure on Gabrielle to drop her case, and Robert Mugabe’s youth wing terrorising his political opponents as he tightens his grip on power, they begin a tentative love affair. But when both fall victim to a shocking attack, their lives splinter across continents and their stories diverge, forcing Gabrielle on a painful journey towards self-realisation.
Irene Sabatini, Winner of the 2010 Orange Award for New Writers, has written an unforgettable novel about love, agency, motherhood and bravery, showing how the dehumanising effects of political violence can shape and remake a life.
Irene's new book, AN ACT OF DEFIANCE, tells the story of Gabrielle Langa, an idealistic young woman working as a lawyer in Harare at the height of Robert Mugabe’s rule, and her journey towards self-realisation in the wake of a brutal attack.. A sweeping political drama and a refreshingly unconventional love story, Sabatini takes the reader through Zimbabwe’s unfolding economic and political crises, showing the brutal and dehumanising effects of the corruption and violence wrought by Mugabe’s regime.
"A tough read, but ultimately an uplifting and moving one"
"A searing, delightful gem of a book."
NOVUYO ROSA TSHUMA, author of House of Stone
"An incredible achievement."
CHIKA UNIGWE, author of On Black Sisters' Street
"Raw, moving and utterly compelling."
TENDAI HUCHU, author of The Hairdresser of Harare
"What a outstanding, intergenerational, raw, gripping and beautiful work of fiction."
"What delicate writing lies in this book."
"...this is a really incredible story and superbly written! "
"...phenomenal prose and exquisite storytelling."
"...grabbed my attention and only let go when I turned the last page."
"...this is a fast paced read that I couldn’t put down..."
"It’s a powerful story, made all the more so by the awareness of its veracity".
"...my first Sabatini and I can’t wait to explore her previous two novels."