André Brink’s memoir A Fork in the Road is a journey, at times painful, through both the old and the new South Africa. The old South Africa is filled with cruelty and injustice: floggings and murders of blacks perpetrated by the police and friends of Brink's family, with his magistrate father turning a resolutely blind eye to much of it. But the new South Africa is far from what Brink and his anti-Apartheid comrades had hoped it would be. Brink writes with compassion of how hard it was for the old country to die so that the new “Rainbow Nation” could be born. And he is scathing in his disillusionment – the sky is not brilliantly blue when one is part of this particular rainbow.
Brink also reveals much of his own life: his father’s death; his eye-opening sojourn in Paris; his “dissident” South African writer friends; his admiration for two French authors and philosophers, Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre; his love for the many women who have been part of his life; his personal evolution from small-town Afrikaner child to international literary figure.