A compelling, thought-provoking novel about race, bullying and the need to belong, set in Africa.
If I stood you in front of a man, pressed a gun into your palm and told you to squeeze the trigger, would you do it?
No, Sir, No way!
What if I then told you we'd gone back in time and his name was Adolf Hitler?
Would you do it then?
Set in Zimbabwe in the 1980s, just after the war for independence, a young English boy, Jacklin, is torn between his black friends at school and his sympathy for the colonial whites after witnessing the compulsory land seizures by Robert Mugabe's government.
But with an imminent visit by Robert Mugabe to the school, Jacklin realizes that Ivan, his white supremacist schoolmate, plans to assassinate the black leader. The novel leaves us with the moral dilemma — in hindsight, should Jacklin have killed Ivan or let Ivan kill Robert Mugabe?
"A stunning debut novel without a false note. Accomplished and powerful, it changes the way you think." * Costa Book Award *
"(Jason Wallace's) bleak, ferocious debut is a powerful, devastating read for older teens." -- Patrick Ness * Guardian *
"(Out of Shadows is) a provocative story, powerfully written. Some may find the themes difficult, the climax shocking, but Wallace has produced a first novel where all the heat and intensity of an African nation in flux burns on every page. He's a definitely a writer to watch in the future." -- Keith Gray * The Scotsman *
"Classic crossover fiction...(Wallace's) unblinking portrait of true evil raises it above the norm... It's something that schools should study and readers read. Bravo! " -- Amanda Craig * The Times *
"In its portrayal of race relations in a wounded country as well as of the ugly power dynamics of a community of adolescent boys, this novel excels, bringing readers up to the grim, uncertain present with mastery." * Kirkus, Starred Review *
"An extraordinary coming-of-age novel . . . a startlingly original debut . . . Charting the change from childhood to adulthood against growing political discord gives the novel a sense of urgency, and the book's intensity, drama and pace leaves a lasting impact." -- Jake Hope * Bookseller's choice, The Bookseller *