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Beethoven Was One-Sixteenth Black: And Other Stories

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Beethoven Was One-Sixteenth Black: And Other Stories Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"You're not responsible for your ancestry, are you . . . But if that's so, why have marched under banned slogans, got yourself beaten up by the police, arrested a couple of times; plastered walls with subversive posters . . . The past is valid only in relation to whether the present recognizes it."

In this collection of new stories Nadine Gordimer crosses the frontiers of politics, memory, sexuality, and love with the fearless insight that is the hallmark of her writing. In the title story a middle-aged academic who had been an anti-apartheid activist embarks on an unadmitted pursuit of the possibilities for his own racial identity in his great-grandfather's fortune-hunting interlude of living rough on diamond diggings in South Africa, his young wife far away in London. "Dreaming of the Dead" conjures up a lunch in a New York Chinese restaurant where Susan Sontag and Edward Said return in surprising new avatars as guests in the dream of a loving friend. The historian in "History" is a parrot who confronts people with the scandalizing voice reproduction of quarrels and clandestine love-talk on which it has eavesdropped."Alternative Endings" considers the way writers make arbitrary choices in how to end stories--and offers three, each relating the same situation, but with a different resolution, arrived at by the three senses: sight, sound, and smell.

Review:

"Thirteen stories from South African Nobel Prize — winner Gordimer offer a staccato demonstration of how people's origins, inheritances and histories — and the loss of them — are inescapable. The title story centers on the white, twice-divorced academic descendant of a London diamond prospector who visits his forebear's mine in Kimberly, South Africa, and wonders about who in the township, black and white, he may be related to. The narrator of 'Dreaming of the Dead' is haunted by famous former companions (the late intellectuals Edward Said and Susan Sontag), while the grieving widow of 'Allesverloren' (or 'All Is Lost') seeks out her husband's former lover to unearth a message from him. The daughter of 'A Beneficiary,' meanwhile, finds an unsettling letter among the effects of her late mother, an actress. Cultural inheritance shadows the marriage of a Hungarian couple that emigrates to South Africa in 'Alternate Endings: Second Sense,' and also the son of 'A Frivolous Woman,' who resents his flamboyant German-Jewish migr mother's easy adaptability. Again and again, Gordimer puts big, sweeping disasters (the Holocaust, apartheid) in the pasts of flawed, ill-equipped characters and shows how their choices have been little more than wing beats against history. The results are terrifying, sometimes acidly funny and often beautiful." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"It's impossible not to be astonished by Nadine Gordimer. At the age of 84, the South African Nobel Prize winner is still publishing stories and novels at a pace that those half her age would find daunting. And at a time of life when she'd be well within her rights to be offering up gentle valedictories, she's still channeling her energy into tackling themes and issues that many of her more timid contemporaries... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

In this collection of new stories, Gordimer crosses the frontiers of politics, memory, sexuality, and love with the fearless insight that is the hallmark of her writing.

About the Author

Nadine Gordimer, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1991, is the author of fourteen novels, nine volumes of stories, and three nonfiction collections. She lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374109820
Author:
Gordimer, Nadine
Publisher:
Farrar Straus Giroux
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Stories (single author)
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20071131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
192
Dimensions:
8.15 x 6.15 x 0.83 in

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Nobel Prize Winners
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Beethoven Was One-Sixteenth Black: And Other Stories Used Hardcover
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$6.95 In Stock
Product details 192 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374109820 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Thirteen stories from South African Nobel Prize — winner Gordimer offer a staccato demonstration of how people's origins, inheritances and histories — and the loss of them — are inescapable. The title story centers on the white, twice-divorced academic descendant of a London diamond prospector who visits his forebear's mine in Kimberly, South Africa, and wonders about who in the township, black and white, he may be related to. The narrator of 'Dreaming of the Dead' is haunted by famous former companions (the late intellectuals Edward Said and Susan Sontag), while the grieving widow of 'Allesverloren' (or 'All Is Lost') seeks out her husband's former lover to unearth a message from him. The daughter of 'A Beneficiary,' meanwhile, finds an unsettling letter among the effects of her late mother, an actress. Cultural inheritance shadows the marriage of a Hungarian couple that emigrates to South Africa in 'Alternate Endings: Second Sense,' and also the son of 'A Frivolous Woman,' who resents his flamboyant German-Jewish migr mother's easy adaptability. Again and again, Gordimer puts big, sweeping disasters (the Holocaust, apartheid) in the pasts of flawed, ill-equipped characters and shows how their choices have been little more than wing beats against history. The results are terrifying, sometimes acidly funny and often beautiful." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , In this collection of new stories, Gordimer crosses the frontiers of politics, memory, sexuality, and love with the fearless insight that is the hallmark of her writing.
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