Cast out of Eden

From The Guardian:

Gordimerap64 Nadine Gordimer presents a bleak portrait of present-day South Africa in Get a Life, says Jane Stevenson. Most of Nadine Gordimer’s oeuvre has been shaped by the struggle against apartheid, in which she played an outstanding and honourable part. In this novel, she is once more bearing witness, but to other truths. Old South Africa was distorted by racism, but the new South Africa, she suggests, also has a potentially fatal flaw. The novel challenges the progressivism which brashly overrides the past and insists on starting from today, on grounds both human and ecological.

Genesis suggests that paradise will always be lost, that mistakes are irreparable and that the older brother, Cain, will always kill Abel. Similarly, the novel suggests that paradise will be destroyed – and regretted – that the past cannot be escaped, and that South African blacks will never catch up with the whites. Not for the first time, Nadine Gordimer is saying things which people are not going to want to hear.

More here.