Life Times: Stories, 1952-2007

( 6 )

Overview

A stunning selection of the best short fiction from the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature

This collection of Nadine Gordimer’s short fiction demonstrates her rich use of language and her unsparing vision of politics, sexuality, and race. Whether writing about lovers, parents and children, or married couples, Gordimer maps out the terrain of human relationships with razor-sharp psychological insight and a stunning lack of sentimentality. The selection, which spans ...

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Life Times

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Overview

A stunning selection of the best short fiction from the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature

This collection of Nadine Gordimer’s short fiction demonstrates her rich use of language and her unsparing vision of politics, sexuality, and race. Whether writing about lovers, parents and children, or married couples, Gordimer maps out the terrain of human relationships with razor-sharp psychological insight and a stunning lack of sentimentality. The selection, which spans the course of Gordimer’s career to date, presents the range of her storytelling abilities and her brilliant insight into human nature. From such epics as “Friday’s Footprint” and “Something Out There” to her shorter, more experimental stories, Gordimer’s work is unfailingly nuanced and complex. Time and again, it forces us to examine how our stated intentions come into conflict with our unspoken desires.

This definitive volume, which includes four new stories from the Nobel laureate, is a testament to the power, force, and ongoing relevance of Gordimer’s vision.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[A] sterling collection of short stories, 38 in all, by the South African novelist . . . A welcome collection by a master of English prose—lucid and precisely written, if often bringing news only of disappointment, fear and loss."—Kirkus Reviews

Life Times indeed . . . This grand gathering . . . showcases Gordimer’s gift for concentrating the many forms of suffering humankind instigates and endures within calamitous and transforming moments. Her cutting stories dramatize with fluent specificity the evolution of liberation in South Africa. But they are also headline-fresh and timelessly universal as Gordimer, skeptical and compassionate, reveals how intimately entwined politics and private lives are, and how there is no such thing as apartness."—Donna Seaman, Booklist

"Gordimer's characters and situations are complex and multifaceted, and it is a testament to her literary skill that she can pack so much depth of meaning into each story. Highly recommended; these powerful and serious stories span the career to date of a critically acclaimed, prize-winning author."—Sarah Conrad Weisman, Corning Community College, New York, Library Journal 

Library Journal
This volume presents a collection of previously published short stories plus four new works by Nobel Prize winner Gordimer. The themes in these pieces include political activism, race relations, love, family and relationships, remembrances of times past, the notion of home and being transplanted elsewhere, everyday life, and much more. But nearly every story is ultimately about life in apartheid and postapartheid South Africa or the experiences and feelings of South Africans. For instance, in the startling "Town and Country Lovers," when the relationship between an Austrian scientist and a black shop girl is discovered, they are arrested and charged with violating the Immorality Act. Then, in the story's second half, a white man is acquitted after killing the baby he has with a childhood lover of a different race. Gordimer's characters and situations are complex and multifaceted, and it is a testament to her literary skill that she can pack so much depth of meaning into each story. VERDICT Highly recommended; these powerful and serious stories span the career to date of a critically acclaimed, prize-winning author.—Sarah Conrad Weisman, Corning Community Coll., NY
Kirkus Reviews

Sterling collection of short stories, 38 in all, by the South African Nobelist.

Gordimer (Telling Times: Writing and Living, 1954-2008, 2010, etc.) has been writing for more than 60 years now, but her concerns have been constant: race, justice, the South African land. In a typical story, the landscape is austere, tough and unforgiving, just the sort of thing to bring out the best in a few hardy people, but calculated to wear down the spirits of most others. So it is that in the opening piece, a young couple, he confined to a wheelchair, go out to take the air in the garden just in time for a swarm of locusts to descend; tending to one that somehow has lost a leg, they find their situations in odd parallel ("being in the same boat," Gordimer writes, "absolved him from responsibility or pity"). The world is not a place where much pity is to be found, as a country fellow discovers among his city brethren, come there to reclaim the body of his deceased brother, only to be confronted with the curious fact that something called a postmortem has been conducted. And then—well, says one friendly overseer in those days of apartheid, "You can't go to fetch your brother. They've done it already—they've buried him, you understand?" No, he does not understand, as so many of Gordimer's characters talk past each other, not quite acknowledging the other's humanity. Some of the stories clearly date to the early days of resistance to apartheid, politically charged and with passing references to the first stirrings of the African National Congress; others take place in the thick of the battle for justice, amid "beer-serious conversations about the possibility of the end of the world."Four of the stories are new, an added pleasure for admirers of Gordimer's work.

A welcome collection by a master of English prose—lucid and precisely written, if often bringing news only of disappointment, fear and loss.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374270537
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 11/9/2010
  • Pages: 560
  • Product dimensions: 9.52 (w) x 11.80 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Nadine Gordimer, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1991, is the author of fourteen novels, nine volumes of stories, and three nonfiction collections. She lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2014

    Hey its miranda!

    Hi anna!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2014

    Is that miranda below me

    Hey if miranda is below me its anna g!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2014

    Keigan and mae mae

    Gjfnvghbcvbgvhnnvsdghvbvhfkvbbghhhbfaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhgghhhhhghvbbvbbvbhvhbbhhhvgjgjhbbbnbjhjhjjbbnbnnbnmnnnfhjjjbvfhbhkghjhfghhfghfgygghhggdn
    nhdjjfkcnbsmdmsjdbfjfbjffkmxmhdfdkykkwigdfrzbdrghthsbwkzhxnrbmrr fogtktxbchfnfwwsdi

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2012

    Iceheart

    AWESOME!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2012

    Willowsong

    Awesome!i think blackpaw was good after all!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2012

    Blueshine' Chapter 7

    Blackpaw left to go search for hawks in Loveclan territory jusin case and Bluepaw went back to camp. Suddenly Cloudpelt pounced on her glaring at her angrily. "How much do you know?" He seethed. "I...what?" She stammered. "I overheard you and Blackpaw talking. Are you really gonna tell? Because if you do, Blackpaw and Duskfur will be next." He threatened. Bluepaw gasped. "No...please no..!" She begged. "Now...i am a cat of my word. I wont harm anyone else if you keep this a secret." Bluepaw twitched nervously. "Please dont..." she muttered. "And i wont. Farewell Bluepaw. We will encounter on this topic again." He disappeared. Bluepaw leapt to her feet and glanced wildly around. Cloudpelt had disappeared as quickly as he appeared. Bluepaw nervously walked back to camp. Nightsong, a dark grey tom glowered at her. "Traitor!" He hissed. "You got alot of nerve! Showing your traitor face back here!" Rosepetal, a pinkish she cat seethed. "I know. Now if youll excuse me." Bluepaw said simply and walked away. Naturedust, another she cat glared. Her mate, Bigseed, licked her and shot Bluepaw a dirty look. Bluepaw felt like a stranger in her own home. She glared at Cloudpelt who was smirking at her. She stormed into her sleeping area and thought to herself What if this was a mistake? Or what if i actually belong in Loveclan? Then Blackpaw rushed over to her. "No hawks. I even checked in other clans and our camp. They had either burned or flew west." He reported. Everything came crashing down on her. All she needed was proof that he killed her mentor, but how? And even if she did procw it...how would she protect Blackpaw and Duskfur from Cloudpelts wrath?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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