In the Shadow of the Dragon's Back:

An American Girl in South Africa during the Early Years of Apartheid

by Rachel Odhner Longstaff

About the Author

Rachel grew up in South Africa in the city of Durban on the sea coast of what is now called KwaZulu Natal. 

Longstaff returned to the U.S. when she was a teenager. After finishing high school, she attended Northwestern University and Drexel University. She and her husband, Alan, lived in Chicago; The Hague; Toronto, and suburban Philadelphia, before moving to Florida in 2005. They have four grown children and nine grandchildren. 

Rachel worked as an academic librarian for about twenty years, first at the Swedenborg Library in Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, and later at Saint Leo University in Florida. She enjoys visiting far-flung family members in Tucson, Arizona and Auckland, New Zealand.  

- Rachel Longstaff

Banner photo by Pehr H. Odhner


"... a complex and engaging work that places the reader squarely inside both worlds with neither judgment nor regret."  

Naomi Benaron, author, Running the Rift, a novel of Rwanda.

Winner of the Bellwether Prize for Fiction.