By Nadine Gordimer
Toby Hood, a tender Englishman, shuns the politics and the reasons his liberal mom and dad passionately aid. residing in Johannesburg as a consultant of his family's publishing corporation, Toby strikes simply, carelessly, among the complacent prosperous white suburbs and the seething, vibrantly alive black townships. His acquaintances contain a wide selection of individuals, from mining administrators to black reporters and musicians, and Toby's colonial-style weekends are usually interspersed with clandestine evenings spent in black shanty cities. Toby's friendship with Steven Sithole, a speeding, embittered younger African, touches him in methods he by no means idea attainable, and whilst Steven's personal feel of independence from the principles of society results in tragedy, Toby's existence is modified eternally.
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Additional resources for A World of Strangers
I don' t feel sorry for myself. The only feelings I have are Panic (b ecause of whi ch I'll commit an endless chain of cowardly acts) and Pity for my fellow men ; though their contorted faces frighten me, I find them very moving all the same. Will I spend the winter among these maniacs ? I look awful. My never-ending circuits from the Lieutenant to the Khedive, the Khedive to the Lieutenant, are wearing me out. I want to placate them b oth at once (so they'll spare my life), and this doub le game demands a k ind of physical stamina I don' t have.
As her pale corps e in the water) Their faces rotate, very s lowly. They murmur gentle reproaches as they pass . Then, while they're s till turning, their faces contract, they ignore you now, and their eyes and their mouths convey a hideous fear. Surely they're think ing of what's in s tore for them. They've b ecome lik e 35 Night Rounds those children who cry out f or mama in the dark . . Von den Bachen in die grosseren Fliisse .. (From the brook s into the greater streams) You recall all the nice things they did f or you.
I've never seen an expression that radi ated such goodness. Coco Lacour and Esmeralda are like that cat. Don't misunderstand me: I don't belong to the Animal Protection Society or the League for the Rights of Man. What kind of work do I do ? I wander about a deserted city. In the evening, after nine o'clock, it's buried in the blackout, and the Khedive, Philibert, all the rest of them form a circle around me. The days are white and fevered. I must find an oasis or I shall die : my love for Coco Lacour and Esmeralda.
A World of Strangers by Nadine Gordimer