ISBN 9781928215332
ePub ISBN 9781928215349
Pages 284
Dimensions 198 x 129mm
Published 2017
Publisher Modjaji Books, South Africa
Formats Paperback, eBook


by Dawn Garisch

Carol Trehorne’s only child, Max, is in ICU with severe burns. Max, a performance artist, has set himself alight. He recovers but it becomes clear that he is planning further performances that will put him at risk of serious injury or death. Carol, a single parent and a GP in a busy suburban practice, is worried that her son is not the genius his friends think he is, but might be on drugs or going psychotic. As she discusses her concerns with her son’s psychiatrist, she wonders if her past behaviour, in particular her relationship with the adventurous and anti-social Jack, has influenced Max’s determination to use his body as a site of violent art in the pursuit of revelation. Carol cannot accept that Max’s self-harm will have any effect other than to add to the meaningless violence in the world. Accident raises questions about what kind of life is worth living and what death is worth dying. It explores the different responses artists and scientists can have to violence and self-destructive behaviour, and throws into sharp relief the difficulties parents face when their children me decisions that appear incomprehensible.

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"Dawn Garisch is boldly imaginative and thought provoking in this riveting account of a performance artist whose shocking acts challenge us to question important social issues. The novel is also a story of a mother and son relationship that walks a tightrope of when to hold on and when to let go."

Kate Gottgens, artist‘

"... it is to Garisch’s credit that she so spaciously and evocatively explores the  non-rational, instinctive roots of human behaviour."

Michiel Heyns on Garisch’s Once, Two Islands

About the Author

Dawn Garisch

Dawn Garisch is a doctor who writes, a poet who walks, a researcher who dances. She lives in Cape Town near the mountain and the sea and has two grown sons. Her last novel, Trespass, was nominated for the Commonwealth Prize in Africa.

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