None to accompany me

by Gordimer, Nadine.

Format: Print Book 1994
Availability: Available at 3 Libraries 3 of 3 copies
Available (3)
Location Collection Call #
Clairton Public Library Fiction F GORD
Location  Clairton Public Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  F GORD
Northland Public Library Fiction FIC GOR
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  FIC GOR
Pleasant Hills Public Library Adult Fiction FIC Gor
Location  Pleasant Hills Public Library
Collection  Adult Fiction
Call Number  FIC Gor
"In an extraordinary period immediately before the first non-racial election and the beginning of majority rule in South Africa, Vera Stark, the protagonist of Nadine Gordimer's passionate new novel, weaves a ruthless interpretation of her own past into her participation in the present as a lawyer representing blacks in the struggle to reclaim the land. The return of exiles is transforming the city, and through the lives of Didymus Maqoma, his wife Sibongile, and their lovely daughter who cannot even speak her parents' African language, the reader experiences the strange passions, reversals, and dangers that accompany new-won access to power." "All must change: Didymus, once a major actor in the resistance, making way for Sibongile's emergence as a political figure; Vera, working through the consequences of a lifetime's commitments to a new kind of relationship with a new man of the times, Zeph Rapulana."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "/*STARRED REVIEW*/ Robert Graves once offered a test of a truly great work of art. It is great, he said, if it literally makes your hair stand on end. A second way of distinguishing between the great and the merely good is whether your admiration of the work is constantly tinged with the thought, "Yes, that's exactly how it is!" If it is, then what you're admiring is probably not first class. Together, these ideas suggest something about the nature of the highest works of art: they teach us something that we do not know, and they have about them the aura of something mysterious, gripping, and awesomely transcendent. Throughout her career, it has been Gordimer's great achievement to give us at least the first part of this equation. We do not read her to confirm our own wisdom, we read her to discover what she herself is just discovering, what years of intelligence, concentration, and intuition are just beginning to push through to awareness. In any age, but perhaps particularly in ours, characterized by an inability to distinguish substance from fashion, this is itself an almost heroic accomplishment. Yet indisputably fine as Gordimer's work has been, it has always seemed to lack that final spark. Why? What is it that prevents it from causing the hair on one's head to quiver for a second and stand on end? The answer might be hinted at in None to Accompany Me, the story of Vera Stark, a lawyer in her sixties, caught up in the reconstruction of South Africa going on today. As always, politics for Gordimer isn't the play of broad abstractions but a complex of forces that pulls and shapes and sometimes undercuts individual lives. For Vera, whose job is so often technical and whose ambition is pragmatic and small, it is the central preoccupation of her life. It is the lens through which she sees and begins to define her life. Unfortunately for her two husbands, her lover, her grown daughter, and her daughter's son, this self-defining makes her familiar obligations more and more incidental to her life. As so often with Gordimer, what is true is neither tender nor romantic; as the novel's ending makes clear, the one relationship that remains for Vera is a friendship (with a dignified, self-possessed black businessman) that has little to do with love or sex. But it is in Vera's conversation with this character that Gordimer, perhaps unconsciously, hints at what is lacking in her work. History for Vera, and one supposes Gordimer, is without architect or director. Indeed, Vera can only understand the idea of religious belief, she cannot feel it. And neither can we, in Gordimer's novels. At no time, do they ripple with "real presence" to use George Steiner's phrase. Notably, this is the distinguishing difference between Gordimer and Patrick White, the novelist to whom she is closest. In White's books, the idea of God is felt, giving his narratives an awesome dimension. Indeed, they are truly great. But it may well be that there is no really transcendent art without the idea of God in it somewhere, somehow, even if it is only, in Salmon Rushdie's words, a God-sized hole. Without an understanding of--meaning a feel for, or sympathy with--the religious impulse, there cannot be anything but an incomplete understanding of the human experience. Is that fair? Isn't it enough that Gordimer grasps, possibly with fuller understanding than anyone else writing in English, the great moral struggle of history? Maybe it is not. For Vera Stark, the great question that hangs over her head is whether the self can be grounded in a cause or a moment in history. And perhaps that is the complex question to which this powerful book is always making its way. It is typical, anyway, of Gordimer's fine novels that they force us to come away asking questions far more difficult than those we asked before we read them. This is art, in short, and worth far, far more effort than all the literary sensations that surround it. (Reviewed August 1994)0374222975Stuart Whitwell"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Nobel Prize winner Gordimer's novel follows two couples, one black, one white, and their evolving interaction with each other and with society during the unraveling of South African apartheid. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Publisher New York :Farrar, Straus and Giroux,1994
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description 324 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN 0374222975 :
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