The Jack Bank
Paperback edition. Glen Retief now attends Pennsdale Meeting, but grew up in the Kruger National Park in apartheid-era South Africa. The "jack bank" is his metaphor for self-destructive choices he makes while growing up and coming to terms with life as a gay man in a country that was rapidly changing. In Retief's boarding school, prefects punished younger students with "jacks" or blows with a cricket bat. Students could "bank" jacks -- take their punishment in advance and earn interest against future infractions. Like many students, the author submitted to this abuse out of fear of public humiliation. Then later, as a prefect himself, he learns the temptations of power. Eventually, Retief breaks away from the system to become an activist working for justice.