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In 1975, Breytenbach returned to South Africa illegally. He was arrested, tried for "terrorism, " and served seven years in prison, two of them in solitary confinement. On his release, he recounted his harrowing experiences in The True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist: "It is a reasonable metaphor to describe this book as an explosive device ticking away at the very foundations of the idea of a white nationalism in Africa" (The New York Times Book Review, front page).
In 1991, after Nelson Mandela had been freed and the ban on the African National Congress (ANC) had been lifted, Breytenbach returned to South Africa for yet another three-month-long foray. For his account of that third trip, Return to Paradise, he was awarded the prestigious Alan Paton Prize.
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