Jessie and Tom Stilwell keep open house. Their code is one of people determined to maintain the integrity of personal relations against the distortions of law and society.
The impact on their home of Boaz Davis and his wife Ann, arrived from England, and Gideon Shibalo, the Stilwells' black friend, with whom Ann starts a love affair as her adventure with Africa, is dramatically concurrent with events involving Jessie's strange relationship with her mother and stepfather and her son from a previous marriage.
Telling their story against the background of South Africa in the sixties, Nadine Gordimer speaks with unsurpassed subtlety and poignancy of individuals and the society in which they live.
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.