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While Nobel Prize-winner Gordimer's trenchant fiction has always achieved universal relevance in capturing apartheid and its lingering effects in South Africa, this new work attains still broader impact as she explores the condition of the world's desperate dispossessed. To Julie Summer, rebellious daughter of a rich white investment banker, the black mechanic she meets at a garage is initially merely an interesting person to add to her circle of bohemian friends. But as their relationship swiftly escalates, Julie comes to understand her lover's perilous tightrope attempts to find a country that will shelter him. Abdu, as he calls himself (it's not his real name), is an illegal immigrant from an abysmally poor Arab country. Now on the verge of deportation from South Africa, he's forced to return to his ancestral village. Julie insists on marrying him and going with him, despite his fears that she does not understand how primitive conditions are in the desert town where his strict Muslim family lives. Abdu (now Ibrahim) is astonished when she willingly does manual labor to earn his family's respect. They clash, however, over his decision to try once again to gain entry into a country that discriminates against immigrants from his part of the world. Gradually realizing that she has finally found a center to her heretofore aimless life, Julie matures; in many ways, she has become more cognizant of reality than her frantically hopeful husband. Gordimer handles these psychological nuances with understated finesse. With characteristic bravado, she reprises a character from her previous book, The House Gun, to show how some blacks are now faring in a reorganized South African society. The brilliant black defense lawyer in that book has taken advantage of opportunities to join a banking conglomerate; he is now involved in "the intimate language of money." It's the people still trapped by economic chaos and racism who now interest this inveterate and eloquent champion of the world's outcasts.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
An incinerating affair between a wealthy young woman and an Arab mechanic.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
I've heard the recorded version of this book a few weeks ago. I've got the CDs from our local library on a whim.
I was very impressed and surprised. Read more
If you enjoy page after page of convoluted, awkward prose; if you like being fed commonplace observations and don't mind being expected to stomach them as profound insights; and... Read morePublished on Dec 13 2003 by Anne
Looks like I'm the second reader from the small town of Los Osos, CA who was underwhelmed with this book. Read morePublished on July 13 2003
If you like reading each paragraph twice due to incoherent, sophomoric writing...you'll like this book.Published on Jan. 16 2003
"Clustered predators round a kill. It's a small car with a young woman inside it. The battery has failed and taxis, cars, minibuses, vans, motorcycles butt and challege one... Read morePublished on Nov. 3 2002 by "jay1939"
...if you like books that complicate conventional notions of love. The first half of the book is a disorienting bit of restraint, the meaning of which is only revealed once the... Read morePublished on June 1 2002
This book is very subtle and beautiful. The carefully detailed explanation of the relationship that grows and changes between Julie and Abdu is exquisite. Read morePublished on April 24 2002 by J. Rosenberg
Through the use of a highly creative writing style, almost 'expressionistic' in character, Gordimer describes a wonderful illustration of a human transformation. Read morePublished on April 21 2002 by Jon Linden