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 PLACE OF BIRTH 2006 Jonathan Ball Publishers, Johannesburg


"Cause and effect.  There is always cause, some will argue.  But how easily does cruelty born of injustice turn into cruelty born of itself.   And how inevitable is the day when effect becomes cause.  When new hatreds will need expression..."

When Rhodesian expatriate Vaughn Bourke returns to Zimbabwe to exhume the graves of his family from their farm, Hopelands, he does so to escape the failure of his life in Australia.  His marriage and professional life are in tatters:  he needs a change of scene.  But while he knows the farm is under threat of seizure from a ruthless group of "war veterans", Vaughn has no idea of the nightmare that awaits him in a country where violence and anarchy are the order of the day.  Together with his siblings, Gus and Angela, he begins the arduous task of removing the remains of their  forebears from the contested soil of Hopelands to a church cemetery in the nearby village of Shangani.  But the exhumations soon uncover a terrible event of the past that becomes an ominous prelude to a greater tragedy in which loss of life and land is inevitable. 

 Through the brutal disintegration of a once close-knit family Place of Birth provides a disturbing and trenchant insight into the violent maelstrom of Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe.


"Graham Lang has produced an intelligent, rugged and courageous book that accurately explores a post-colonial paradise lost and the corruption of a government that ignores the rule of law."  Richard Kunzmann -  Sunday Independent 2006

"Place of birth by Graham Lang is an absolutely gripping novel...think it might be one of the best books I have ever read."  Lisa Macleod -

"Place of Birth is grounded in meticulously realised detail and written in deceptively plain prose...suffused with a terrible honesty, his book touches us most deeply."  Anthony Stidolph - Natal Witness 9 August 2008

"Graham Lang taps into the ironies of the white African nightmare with prose as spare and self-deprecating as Coetzee's." - Ann Harries 2006