Books: Unforgiven Trespasses

A DANCE IN THE SUN (209 pp.)—Don Jacobson—Harcourt, Brace ($3.50).

In ancient law, a debtor was bound to a creditor, sometimes with chains. This piece of jurisprudence, so mysterious to the modern mind, provides the clue to A Dance in the Sun, the second novel of the talented young (27) South African novelist, Dan Jacobson.

It is a short novel and, on the surface, tells simply the story of two white university students who are hitchhiking to Cape Town on their summer vacation. Their road leads through the Karroo, a desert plateau of Cape Province. Beside a dry river at the sun-blistered dorp...

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