Gillian Slovo Biography
(1952– ), Morbid Symptoms, Death by Analysis, Death Comes Staccato, Catnap, Close Call, Ties of Blood
South African novelist, born in Johannesburg, the daughter of the ANC leaders Joe Slovo and Ruth First; she grew up in Britain from 1964, following her parents' departure from South Africa as political fugitives. She has worked as a journalist and film producer. Her detective novel Morbid Symptoms (1984) introduced Kate Baeier, virtuoso saxophonist and private investigator, whose adventures continue in Death by Analysis (1986), Death Comes Staccato (1990), Catnap (1994), and Close Call (1995). Ties of Blood (1989) traced South African history from 1900 to the 1980s through its expansive narrative of familial loyalties and antagonisms. Suspicions of treachery within the ANC generate the atmospheres of tension and violence in her psychologically penetrating political thriller The Betrayal (1991); Façade (1993) is a family drama, with the London stage and the world of International Aid as a backdrop. Among her other works is her contribution to Subverting Apartheid (with J. Corrigall and E. Unterhalter, 1990), which considers alternative strategies for education, information, and culture during emergency rule in South Africa.