In Ivan Vladislavić’s South Africa, everything is under reconstruction: from Tuscan townhouses to the township shanties that jostle Johannesburg’s freeways. Social relations must also be remade. Despite the de jure abolition of segregation, racial tensions remain. In this world straddled between city and veld, the stories of four men intertwine: a statistician employed on the national census, an engineer out on the town, an artist with an interest in genocide, and a contractor who puts billboards on construction sites. With imagination and satirical verve, Vladislavić lucidly depicts a society’s seductive surface while revealing what lies underneath.