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An Observer, Financial Times and Guardian Pick for 2019

The brilliant debut novel from the award-winning author of Maggie & Me


South Africa, 1901, the height of the second Boer War. Sarah van der Watt and her son are taken from their farm by force to Bloemfontein Concentration Camp where, the English promise: they will be safe.


Johannesburg, 2010. Sixteen-year-old outsider Willem just wants to be left alone with his books and his dog. Worried he's not turning out right, his ma and her boyfriend send him to New Dawn Safari Training Camp. Here they 'make men out of boys'. Guaranteed.

You Will Be Safe Here is a deeply moving novel of connected parts. Inspired by real events, it uncovers a hidden colonial history and present-day darkness while exploring our capacity for cruelty and kindness.

 

About Damian Barr


Damian Barr is an award-winning writer and columnist. Maggie & Me, his memoir about comingof age and coming out in Thatcher's Britain, was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week and Sunday Times Memoir of the Year, and wonthe Paddy Power Political Books 'Satire' Award and Stonewall Writer of the YearAward. Damian writes columns for the BigIssue and High Life and oftenappears on BBC Radio 4. He is creator and host of his own Literary Salon that premieres work from established and emerging writers. You Will Be Safe Here is his debut novel. Damian Barr lives in Brighton.

 

Reviews


A searing debut. The Times

Completely gripping and profoundly moving – you care for every character. Each of the very different stories is deeply affecting and they're woven together in such unexpected and powerful ways. Barr handles the most difficult material with the lightest touch. Maggie O’Farrell

A gripping, heartbreaking tale of uncomfortable histories and the resilience of love. Graham Norton

Brutal, haunting, redemptive and with not an ounce of fat left on it. Beautiful. Jojo Moyes

Epic … Immersive, moving, horrifying and beautiful. You will LOVE it. Marian Keyes

 

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