For “These Are Not Gentle People”
“Every so often a book comes very close to defining a nation. In this extraordinary, fast-paced and exquisitely written true story South Africa’s brutal and divided past, its complex present and contested future collide in an explosive narrative of murder, race, class and human cruelty. This is In Cold Blood meets Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil. Believe me, Andrew Harding has given us an instant classic.
If you want to understand the true, chilling heart of South Africa today then go out and buy this utterly gripping book. You will thank me later.
Not since former New York Times editor Joe Lelyveld’s 1980s classic Move Your Shadow has a foreign correspondent written such a searing account of South Africa and its tragedies and hopes. It should be read not just by South Africans but far and wide by those who wish to understand truth and reconciliation, fear and redemption. And those who love a masterful story.” Justice Malala - South African columnist, author and broadcaster.
"A smartly paced true-crime thriller with a vivid cast of characters, “These are not Gentle People” is as tense as it is disturbing, richly evoking the mood of a dark, dry place in the heart of South Africa where racial fear lingers, brutal rage flares and everyone remains trapped in the cruel coils of history." John Carlin, author of Playing The Enemy (the basis for the film Invictus.)
“These Are Not Gentle People” is a South African tragedy. Page after page, reveals the painful truth, that the sun has set on Mandela’s Rainbown Nation. Dreams and hopes of a better future have been silenced by fear, racial tension and a disengaged political system. The lives of the characters, from the landless and poor blacks, to the white landowners caught in a vortex of fear and oblivion, are a true reflection of South Africa’s unfinished business – building a country that belongs to all. For the people of Parys, that dream is elusive and the contestation for a place under the sun, is fierce, brutal and deadly. A gripping and painful read, told with empathy and nuance, These Are Not Gentle People, is an uncomfortable reminder that the past is not over.” Redi Thlabi - South African broadcaster.
For “The Mayor Of Mogadishu”
"A fluid, sympathetic journalistic foray... A beautifully rendered narrative and characterisation portrays the soul of a country few Westerners truly understand." Kirkus "Starred" review
“Africa can be explained in dry prose, in figures, in newspaper reports; or it can be explained, as Andrew Harding does in this book, through an astonishing personal story, vivid and utterly memorable. This is a triumph of a book: surprising, informative, and humane." Alexander McCall Smith
"A stunning odyssey. Harding masterfully shows us there is no 'them' in the world – there is only 'us'." J.M. Ledgard - author of Submergence
"A wonderful account of one of the most troubled yet beautiful countries on Earth, told by one of our most gifted and sensitive journalists. This is a book laced with hope amid the dark layers of hatred through which the Mayor of Mogadishu battles." Jon Snow - presenter Channel 4 News
"Andrew Harding's elegantly-written account is much more than a portrait of the Mayor of Mogadishu. In bold, vivid brush-strokes it captures all the charm, colour, contradiction and menace of contemporary Somalia." Michela Wrong – author of Borderlines
"Andrew Harding is one of the great foreign correspondents in any medium. He has a sympathy for Somalia and its people that shines through this powerful book. He disdains cliche and reductive analysis, in the process creating some of the most beautiful writing about Africa that I have ever read.” Fergal Keane, author of Road of Bones and Season of Blood.
"One of Africa's most experienced correspondents zeroes in on one of the most intriguing characters in the extraordinary post-apocalyptic world of modern Mogadishu. Like the city and its mayor, Harding brings depth, clarity, nuance and occasional poetry to his story. Rich, epic and important.” Alex Perry, author of The Rift
"An excellent portrait of Somalia. Harding captures the agony the country has suffered for the last 25 years but also the strength, resilience and the humour of its remarkable people.” Richard Dowden, author Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles.