Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature
For years, it had 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 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.
Her husband smiled; it didn’t weigh against the keys of the vehicle, for them. Oh, she didn’t deny that. She was setting out the facts before herself, a currency whose value had been revised. It was not only the bits of paper money that could not supply what was missing, here. —I’d give him the keys any time. I could teach him to drive, myself—he hasn’t asked me. All right—someone has to get supplies for us…— —As long as the money lasts.— —The money! We’ll be out of here, with plenty of
be the chosen one in whose hands their lives were to be held; frog prince, saviour, July. He brought a zinc bath big enough for the children to sit in, one by one, and on his head, paraffin tins of water heated on one of the cooking-fires. She washed the children, then herself in their dirty water; for the first time in her life she found that she smelled bad between her legs, and—sending the children out and dropping the sack over the doorway—disgustedly scrubbed at the smooth lining of her
or transcendent—the ‘new life’ of each personal achievement, of political change. People looked up at the load in the bakkie with faces of those seeing for themselves something they had heard about. Once or twice July called out a greeting. —No main roads, eh, I hope.— —Never!— July laughed. —We are coming now-now.— The vehicle slowed over the bare grazed ground that marked each settlement; they were again among a few huts, fences made of rubbish, green scrolls of pumpkin patches. Half-turns
not). —The African people is funny people. They don’t want know this nation or this nation. The country people. Only his own nation we know, each one.— Maureen seemed to follow. —Your chief wants to be left alone. But it’s not possible.— —He’s talking talking. Talking too much.— Their cautious lack of response roused a kind of obstinacy in July. —You can tell me, what he can do? You tell me?— —He told you. He’ll fight.— —How he can fight? Did you see him fight when the government is coming,
pace quickens, stalks past the stack of thatch and the wattle fowl-cage, jolts down the incline, leaps stones, breaks into another rhythm. She is running through the elephant grass, dodging the slaps of branches, stooping through thickets of thorn. She is running to the river and she hears them, the man’s voice and the voices of children speaking English somewhere to the left. But she makes straight for the ford, and pulling off her shoes balances and jumps from boulder to boulder, and when there