SUMMARY: Coenraad de Buys was the most dangerous man around in the Cape of the late 1700s. At eight he crossed his first frontier and left his mother’s house behind. Left his home (the first of many); left the Cape; left civilisation. From the Langkloof Buys roves – a giant, a legend, polygamist and swindler; the bane of government, father to chieftains and a Buysvolk of his own. Everywhere his wild oats are sown; everywhere renegades and criminals join his band of outcasts. He interprets between Xhosa and English but speaks only his own words.
And everywhere on his travels, always there is the pack of dogs and the earless red leader that put Buys on his restless path. In Buys’ tracks, in his head, around his camp fires the slavering jaws snap. He was born in the Langkloof. He died on the banks of the Limpopo. But Buys is
not dead. Red Dog is a novel about frontiers and borders. The Afrikaans original Buys was hugely acclaimed in 2014. Now it has been masterfully translated by Michiel Heyns.
Dr Willem Anker lectures in creative writing at Stellenbosch University. His debut novel, Siegfried (Kwela, 2007), received the UJ debut
prize and the Jan Rabie/Rapport prize. Buys (of which Red Dog is the translation) was published in 2014 and won the WA Hofmeyr,
University of Johannesburg, kykNET-Rapport, Helgaard Steyn and Hertzog Prize.