A bold, sweeping story of one girl's rise from obscurity to an unpredictable kind of political power
Abandoned by her mother, Hillela is left to be raised by her two aunts in South Africa. At Olga's she might have acquired a taste for antiques and a style of dress to please a suitable husband. At Pauline's she might have developed a social conscience. But Hillela's betrayal of her position as a surrogate daughter so shocks both families that at seventeen she is cast adrift.
Swiftly and perilously, her life opens out. She lives as a footloose girl among political exiles on a beach in East Africa, drifting between jobs and lovers, and finally becomes the wife of a black revolutionary. Personal tragedy is ultimately the catalyst for her political development, leading her into a heroic role in the overthrow of apartheid.
Nadine Gordimer's many novels include The Conservationist, joint winner of the Booker Prize, Get A Life, Burger's Daughter, July's People, My Son's Story, The Pickup and, most recently, No Time Like the Present. Her collections of short stories include The Soft Voice of the Serpent, Something Out There, Jump, Loot and, most recently, Beethoven Was One-Sixteenth Black. She has also collected and edited Telling Tales, a story anthology published in fourteen languages whose royalties go to HIV/AIDS organisations. In 2010 her nonfiction writings were collected in Telling Times and a substantial selection of her stories was published in Life Times. Nadine Gordimer was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991. She lives in South Africa.