Longlisted for the 2001 Booker Prize, a masterly new novel from Nobel Prize Laureate and Booker winner Nadine Gordimer. THE LYING DAYS, A WORLD OF STRANGERS and A GUEST OF HONOUR published alongside. 'A majestic and deeply moving saga ... profound and startling' DAILY MAIL
Nadine Gordimer's many novels include THE LYING DAYS, THE CONSERVATIONIST, joint winner of the Booker Prize, BURGER'S DAUGHTER, JULY'S PEOPLE, MY SON'S STORY, NONE TO ACCOMPANY ME and THE HOUSE GUN. Her collections of short stories include SOMETHING OUT THERE and JUMP. In 1991 she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. She lives in South Africa.
Nobel laureate Gordimer's new novel centers on a member of the moneyed class in post-apartheid South Africa. Daughter of a prominent business executive, Julie Summers is an up-and-coming personality in public relations and a regular at the trendy L.A. Cafe. Yet she finds her privileged life meaningless and would like nothing more than to cut herself free, if she only knew how. Then an auto breakdown changes everything. She becomes infatuated with a handsome and intense Middle Eastern mechanic, Ibrahim, who is also an illegal immigrant. Unexpected passion leads quickly to serious attachment. When her lover must leave the country, Julie marries him and travels to his home village in an impoverished Arab country. While Ibrahim's energy goes toward fulfilling his dream of material success in the West, Julie discovers surprising spiritual fulfillment in her new surroundings. This fictional exploration of desire and its consequences unfolds in language as spare and compelling as the desert terrain that so fascinates Julie. For most fiction collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/01.]Starr E. Smith, Fairfax Cty. P.L., VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
'A bittersweet Romeo and Juliet for our cynical age... brilliant and unsettling' The Times; 'Powerful and profound... this intelligent novel is as gripping as a thriller and as felt as a love song' Irish Times
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. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.