Which of these is the name of a novel by the Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer (pictured)?
"July's People", first published in 1981, is a novel by the South African writer Nadine Gordimer (1923-2014).
Although written a decade before the end of the Apartheid regime, the novel is set in a hypothetical future where it has already been overthrown, in this instance by violent means.
The family at the centre of it, the Smales, are, as Gordimer herself was, white liberals. After the turmoil, they have taken refuge in the village where their black servant, July, lives. Maureen Smales does, as she believes, her best to integrate and be helpful, working alongside the native women in the fields. July tells her she should not, and wonders if she has ulterior motives. Meaning well, Maureen tells him what a good servant he has always been, but he, entirely understandably, sees this as condescending and humiliating. It is a classic example of people who are basically decent but send out the wrong signals, which leads to hostility. In any event, both of them are subservient to the village headman.
The books ends enigmatically, with the arrival of a mysterious helicopter in the village.
Not surprisingly, it was not well received by the Apartheid regime, and banned in some parts of the country, but received critical acclaim, and remains popular and admired, even now history has overtaken it.