For years, it has been what is called a 'deteriorating situation'. Now all over South Africa the cities are battlegrounds. The members of the Smales family - liberal whites - are rescued from the terror by their servant, July, who leads them to refuge in his native village. What happens to the Smaleses and to July - the shifts in character and relationships - gives us an unforgettable look into the terrifying, tacit understandings and misunderstandings between blacks and whites.
Nadine Gordimer's many novels include The Lying Days, The Conservationist, joint winner of the Booker Prize, Burger's Daughter, My Son's Story, None To Accompany Me, A World Of Strangers and The House Gun. Her collections of short stories include Something Out There, Jump and Loot. In 1991 she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. She lives in South Africa.