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Friday, 6 April 2018

NONE TO ACCOMPANY ME

NONE TO ACCOMPANY ME - BOOK COVER
None to Accompany Me is a 1994 novel by South African Nobel Winner Nadine Gordimer. The novel follows the motifs and plot framework of a Bildungsroman, exploring the development of the main character, Vera Stark. The novel is set during the early 1990s in South Africa after the release of Nelson Mandela.

The novel focuses on Stark shedding personal ties to find her "true self" in a political cause: fighting apartheid as a civil rights lawyer. Her decisions also effect, her friends, a Black African family who had lived in political exile: Sibongile and Didymus Maqoma.



SUMMARY

None to Accompany Me takes place in a tumultuous South Africa in the final throws of apartheid, in the year when the old life comes to an end. The upheaval is reflected in the life of Vera Stark, a white civil rights lawyer who gradually sheds the trappings of her married life in pursuit of a small space in existence...to be traversed by herself: herself a final form of company discovered. Tracing Vera's transition along with her country's, None to Accompany Me is a lyrical exploration of radical social change as a possibility of changing oneself.

Both pragmatist and sensualist, wife and mother, lover and political activist, Vera is one of Gordimer's most complex and intriguing creations. The novel's secondary characters more than hold their own, though: Vera's handsome husband Bennet, a would-be sculptor now reduced by the desire to provide for her to selling so-called prestige luggage; their children Ivan, a London banker, and Annie, a gay South African doctor; Didymus and his wife Sibongile (Sally), black revolutionaries returned from exile abroad to find their public roles reversed: Didymus sidelined and Sibongile on a hit-list of high-profile politicians; their lovely daughter Mpho, half-Zulu, half-Xhosa, and all-London teenager; Vera's co-worker Oupa, former prisoner on Robber Island, bursting with hopes and plans for South Africa; and Zeph Rapulana, one of the new black men with the skills and personal power to help bring those hopes and dreams to fruition.

This new South Africa is not romanticized: there are deaths by violence, desperate housing shortages, hints of corruption, political rivalries. 

Download the book: None To Accompany Me.pdf

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