Set in South Africa’s turbulent 1980s and concluding in the post-apartheid 1990s, Clouds Like Black Dogs is a vivid and often violent story of loss and redemption. After a troubled upbringing on a West Coast farm, Manas Smith, a young coloured artist, is given assistance by a white benefactor to study art at Rhodes University, Grahamstown. There Manas encounters a spiralling world of political conflict. The repercussions of his naïve friendship with an activist poet, David Harris, are both unpredictable and terrifying. Similarly, his love affair with Zelda Sutton, a fellow art student and descendent of an old and respected Eastern Cape farming family, at a time in South Africa’s history when love across the colour bar was not yet condoned, present s unimaginable dangers and consequences. Graham Lang strongly evokes the sinister atmosphere of brutality and treachery that pervaded South Africa’s political climate during the decade prior to the first democratic election in 1994. it is against this menacing background, and with great difficulty, that Manas finally learns that redemption comes at the cost of exoneration and accountability.