371pp., illus., maps, hardback, d.w., Athens, 2018
In 1993, 26 year-old white American Fulbright scholar Amy Biehl was killed in a racially motivated attack in Guguletu, a black township outside Cape Town. Her parents established a humanitarian foundation to serve the township where she was killed, supported amnesty for her killers and hired two of the young men to work for the foundation.
"I knew both the author and the subject of this book from a Stanford class in African politics. As a black South African, I had considerable anti-white grievance, but Steve and Amy in their life choices laid bare the dangers of my single story, even more so when Amy died so tragically in my hometown. As race relations seem to be unraveling on both sides of the Atlantic, this impressive work of scholarship about the entangled histories of South Africa and the United States comes at an opportune time." Jonathan Jansen, Distinguished Professor, University of Stellenbosch
"Steven Gish has written a remarkable account of Amy Biehl's life, death, and what happened subsequently as her killers were brought to trial and her parents established a foundation in her name devoted to reconciliation and forgiveness. Deftly probing the controversies that erupted in South Africa after her death and the work of the foundation, Gish sensitively plumbs the pathos that is at the heart of the story. There were passages where I was brought to tears." Robert Edgar, co-author of "African Apocalypse: the story of Nontetha Nkwenkwe, a twentieth-century South African prophet
Steven Gish is Professor of History at Auburn University at Montgomery, USA. His previous books include "Alfred B. Xuma: African, American, South African" and "Desmond Tutu: a biography".