White Tribe Dreaming

White Tribe Dreaming: Apartheid’s Bitter Roots as Witnessed by an Eighth Generation Afrikaner was published in Canada, the U.S. and Britain in 1987 (by Macmillan of Canada, Viking and Penguin). It won the inaugural Alan Paton Award for non fiction writing about South Africa. It was a portrait and history of the Afrikaner people through the prism of my own family which, as I said in the book, “was there at the beginning”.

The Washington Post had this to say: “This is an unexpected pleasure: a history of the Afrikaner people that both enlightens and intrigues … splendidly written.” The New York Times, on the other hand, hated the book.

Leonard Thompson, now-retired Yale professor and author of the authoritative History of South Africa, said this: “… an important perspective on a pressing issue of the day … [de Villiers] writes splendidly, with the nice unbuttoned freedom that we academics lack…” In South Africa, David Robbins wrote in The Natal Witness, calling it “… a fascinating, revealing and often painful piece of work … combining easy readability with immaculate research.”