Dead Leaves

Two Years in the Rhodesian War

Dan Wylie



It is January, 1978. Groups of nervous, dutiful white conscripts begin their National Service with Rhodesia's security forces. Ian Smith's minority regime is in its dying days and negotiations towards majority rule are already under way. For these inexperienced eighteen-year-olds, there is nothing to do but go on fighting, and hold the line while the transition happens around them. Dead Leaves is a richly textured memoir in which an ordinary troopie grapples with the unique dilemmas presented by an extraordinary period in history.


Perhaps the most important part of our humanity is our capacity to question both our public and private selves, and how honestly they confront our experiences. Dead Leaves superbly achieves this task. - Anthony Chennells, Professor of English, University of Zimbabwe


Professor Dan Wylie teaches at Rhodes University, South Africa. He has published several articles on white writing on Shaka, and on Zimbabwean literature. He is also a poet.