No Time Like the Present

No Time Like the Present

Book - 2012 | 1st American ed
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A sharply observed new novel about post-apartheid South Africa from the Nobel Prize winner

Nadine Gordimer is one of our most telling contemporary writers. With each new work, she attacks--with a clear-eyed fierceness, a lack of sentimentality, and a deep understanding of the darkest depths of the human soul--her eternal themes: the inextricable link between personal and communal history; the inescapable moral ambiguities of daily life; the political and racial tensions that persist in her homeland, South Africa. And in each new work is fresh evidence of her literary genius: in the sharpness of her psychological insights, the stark beauty of her language, the complexity of her characters, and the difficult choices with which they are faced.

In No Time Like the Present , Gordimer trains her keen eye on Steve and Jabulile, an interracial couple living in a newly, tentatively, free South Africa. They have a daughter, Sindiswa; they move to the suburbs; Steve becomes a lecturer at a university; Jabulile trains to become a lawyer; there is another child, a boy this time. There is nothing so extraordinary about their lives, and yet, in telling their story and the stories of their friends and families, Gordimer manages to capture the tortured, fragmented essence of a nation struggling to define itself post-apartheid.

The subject is contemporary, but Gordimer's treatment is, as ever, timeless. In No Time Like the Present , she shows herself once again a master novelist, at the height of her prodigious powers.

Publisher: New York, NY : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780374222642
Branch Call Number: FIC Gord
Characteristics: 421 p


From the critics

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Nov 13, 2020

I really enjoyed reading this book, my first taste of Nadine Gordimer and
her latest (I think) novel. I was totally engrossed in the characters; the
reality of today's South Africa, so disillusioning; and the storytelling itself.
Yet I agree with sneha's comment about not being able to get past her
writing style. I was often tempted, in spite of the positives, to just give it
up; yet I persisted and in the end was glad I did. It's a fantastic story. I don't know if the writing style, which dispenses entirely, if I remember
correctly, with quotation marks and instead uses long dashes to introduce what someone is saying, but also seems to use these same marks in other places, is experimental on her part, or if she has written this way before. I must say that it was aggravating and confusing, and that I often had to read a passage two or three times and still sometimes didn't get it. So it must have been a hell of a good read for me to have persisted until the end. I learned an awful lot from this book.

Aug 22, 2019

I found the content very interesting and Gordimer's observations about the human experience spot-on, but I could not get past her writing style, which I found overly difficult to read. I tried but wasn't able to finish it.

Oct 14, 2012

Having read this novel a few months ago I wasn't surprised by the news of the tragic slaughter of the striking miners in South Africa.This is the story of a couple whose black/white marriage was once illegal, who worked for the victory of the ANC and who now find themselves members of a privileged middle class. As they watch the slow and painful improvements and the many political failures of their country they struggle with a decision to leave. The story is told as a sort of stream of consciousness of the people involved and as usual Gordimer does it brilliantly.

Jun 15, 2012

Brilliant. This novel is about post-1994 South Africa to the present day as told through the story of two Freedom Fighters by exposing the link between the personal and political. How does one live by one's principles? What are the responsibilities of people involved in a Struggle?

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