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.