The Pickup (Paperback)
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A New York Times Notable Book
Winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Africa “Ranks as one of Gordimer’s best novels…It transcends politics and aims at a meaning higher than human striving.”---The Philadelphia Inquirer When Julie Summers’s car breaks down on a street in Cape Town, a young Arab mechanic comes to her aid. Their attraction to each other is immediate. Julia, the daughter of a powerful businessman, is trying to escape a privileged background she despises. Abdu, an educated but poor illegal immigrant, is desperate to evade deportation. The consequences of this chance meeting are unpredictable and intense, as each person’s notions of the other are overturned. Set in the social mix of post-apartheid South Africa and an unnamed Arab country, Nadine Gordimer’s The Pickup “is a masterpiece of creative empathy...a gripping tale of contemporary anguish and unexpected desire, and it also opens the Arab world to unusually nuanced perception” (Edward W. Said).
About the Author
Nadine Gordimer (1923 2014) was born in South Africa. She received numerous international prizes for her writing, including the Modern Language Association Award, the Bennett Award, and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1991. She was given honorary degrees by Yale, Harvard, and other universities and was honored by the French government with the decoration Commandeur de l Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
“Astonishing...It is hard to conceive of a more sympathetic, more intimate introduction to the lives of ordinary Muslims than we are given here.”---J. M. Coetzee, The New York Review of Books “This is surely what art has at its highest octane done: attempts to push its way around the ineffable, to get inside others’ heads, to cross the many boundaries that so terminally and tragically divide us.”---The Washington Post Book World “Gordimer plays the lovers off of one another expertly….She explores the problems of dispossession with characteristic subtlety.”---The New Yorker “Ms. Gordimer’s ability to delineate the psychological consequences of exile, class, disaffection, and racial prejudice enables her to lend Julie and [Ibrahim’s] relationship an unusual poignancy and depth.”---Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times “Brilliant…Gordimer’s stark sentences and emotional depth make most modern fiction seem trivial.”---The Times (London)