Outside the Lines


Ameera Patel

Outside the Lines is both a thriller and a family drama.

Outside the Lines is both a thriller and a family drama. It tells the story of two women: Cathleen, a troubled young woman living in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg; and Flora, who is the domestic worker at Cathleen’s house. Cathleen disappears and tensions and drama ensue.

Ameera Patel

Ameera Patel

Ameera Patel is an actor who has worked on stage and in television (best known for her role as Dr Chetty in Generations). She is also an award winning playwright and actor. She received a distinction for her MA in Creative Writing in 2013 (University of the Witwatersrand). Outside the Lines is her first novel.

Outside the Lines has been translated into German and was published by Peter Hammer Verlag in 2016.

Catalyst Press has bought the North American rights and will publish Outside the Lines in the near future.

Ameera Patel’s first novel is edgy, witty, fresh, engaging, moving, memorable. This is an important new voice in the emerging movement of new South African fiction, taking us to places at once familiar and defamiliarised by the sensitivity of the writing. A vivid portrait of contemporary Johannesburg, wide-ranging, passionately engaged and acerbic.
Craig Higginson

“This dysfunctional family drama has unexpected moments of dark comedy to disrupt the unfolding, inevitable tragedy. While exposing the multilayered inequities of the haves vs. have-nots, Patel slyly ridicules white privilege, religious hypocrisy, clueless parenting, casual racism, ineffective rules and breakable laws. In clipped, often unadorned sentences, Patel skillfully presents a raw narrative of careless disconnections and scathing verity.”
Terry Hong, Shelf Awareness

“In this coke-fueled thrill-ride through the underworld of Joburg, characters face difficult decisions and try to find some humanity, even as the quest for money and the need to meet family expectations tear them apart. South Africa is one of the great hot spots for crime fiction these days, and we can’t wait to see more from Ameera Patel.”
Molly Odintz, Senior Editor at CrimeReads

“A particularly fresh and contemporary take on Johannesburg.”
Bontle Senne

“Leaves a mark on your memory as well as your heart.”
Karen Tennent, Glamour SA

“Nearly all the characters in Patel’s book are breaking rules in some or other deeply human way. Her storytelling is so vivid that the five principal characters, whose names head chapters, live on long after you have put down the novel.”
Sue Grant-Marshall, Business Live

““Both a light read and sustaining enough to live on in the mind. Though the book reads like a thriller, it is enhanced by the depth Patel gives her characters. The reader feels fully immersed in their consciousnesses. Patel has the ability to take us into the lives of her characters. A remarkably good read.”
Jane Rosenthal, Mail & Guardian