Mr and Mrs Malgas are going quietly about their lives when a mysterious squatter appears on the vacant plot next to their home.
Arriving with portmanteau in hand and a head full of extraordinary ideas, the stranger at once begins to fashion tools and cutlery from old iron and rubbish.
Soon he enlists Mr Malgas's help: drawn in by the stranger's conviction, Mr Malgas clears the land, all the while struggling to catch sight of the grand mansion that is supposedly springing up around them.
His vision, however, continues to fail him - until, one day, it doesn't.
When The Folly appeared in South Africa in 1993, with its story of the seductive and dangerous illusions language can breed, it was read as an evocative allegory of the rise and fall of apartheid.
Vladislavic's remarkable first novel is sure to strike new chords for contemporary readers.