Irene Sabatini is an author from Zimbabwe who writes fiction. She earned the Orange Award for New Writers (part of the Women's Prize for Fiction) in 2010 for her first novel, The Boy Next Door, a love story set against the backdrop of racism and political turmoil of 1980s Zimbabwe. Her second novel, Peace and Conflict, covers family and political history through the eyes of a ten-year-old boy
Harare, 2000: Gabrielle is a newly-qualified lawyer fighting for justice for a young girl. Ben is an urbane and charismatic junior diplomat attached to Harare with the American embassy. With high-level pressure on Gabrielle to drop the case, and the president’s youth wing terrorizing his political opponents as he tightens his grip on power, they begin a tentative love affair. But when they fall victim to a shocking attack, their lives splinter across continents and their stories diverge, forcing Gabrielle on a painful journey towards self-realization. Irene Sabatini, winner of the 2010 Orange Award for New Writers, navigates Zimbabwe’s unfolding political crises, showing how the dehumanizing effects of state-sponsored violence can shape and remake a life. An Act of Defiance is a sweeping political drama about a young woman’s fight for love and agency in turbulent times.