OVERRIDE

The House Gun

A Novel

Nadine Gordimer

Picador

"With the scaffolding of a courtroom drama and the moral underpinnings of the state's responsibility, the novel infuses an isolated crime of passion with the atmospheric pressure of a country reeling from its own past." --The Boston Sunday GlobeA house gun, like a house cat: a fact of ordinary daily life. How else can you defend yourself against intruders and thieves in post-apartheid South Africa? The respected executive director of an insurance company, Harald, and his doctor wife, Claudia, are faced with something that could never happen to them: Their son, Duncan, has murdered a man. In this powerful and disturbing anatomy of a murder, Nadine Gordimer examines the effect of violence on the complicated web of love that holds together parents and children, friends and lovers.

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Excerpt from The House Gun by Nadine Gordimer. Copyright © 1998 by Felix Licensing, B.V. To be published in January, 1998 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC. All rights reserved.


Something terrible happened.

They are watching it on the screen with their after-dinner coffee cups beside them. It is Bosnia or Somalia or the earthquake shaking a Japanese island between apocalytic teeth like a dog; whatever were the disasters of that time. When the intercom buzzes each looks to the other with a friendly reluctance; you go, your turn. It's part of the covenant of living toget
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REVIEWS

Praise for The House Gun

"Elegantly conceived, flawlessly executed . . . Gordimer tells a love story unlike any other I have ever read."—Jack Miles, The New York Times Book Review

"As the moral anatomy of a murder, The House Gun will seem to American readers closer to their own existence than many Gordimer books."—The Washington Post

"An intellectual thriller with a soap opera engine . . . Nothing short of epic. "—The Baltimore Sun

"A memorable blend of the topical and the timeless, at once a profound, lingering meditation on the human heart and a story so gripping you can scarcely bear to put it down."—San Francisco Chronicle

"It feels like the reworking of pages from the notebook of an excellent journalist, an observer sitting for the first time on the Court's press benches and recording the historic scene as human rights are finally incorporated into South African supreme law."—Neal Ascherson, The New York Review of Books

"As complex, compelling, and memorable an account of race and class as any of her earlier works . . . A brilliant, beautifully crafted novel of betrayal."—The Dallas Morning News

"The House Gun is like a well-cut diamond. Its many angles and planes catch the light and illuminate understanding, laying bare the emotions of a people caught in the transition from one world to another."—The Orlando Sentinel

"Gordimer is a major literary figure, working at the peak of her craft . . . The House Gun is an awe-inspiring work."—The Cincinnati News and Observer

"Exquisitely drawn . . . Passionately intelligent, it’s more complicated than any detective story. Complicated not so much by plot, it’s about the mystery of the human heart, the ‘mystery that is the other individual, even the one you have created out of your own flesh.’"—Bob Minzesheimer, USA Today

"A passionately schematic moral anatomy of a murder."—Kirkus

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Nadine Gordimer

  • Nadine Gordimer (1923–2014), the recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature, was born in a small South African town. Her first book, a collection of stories, was published when she was in her early twenties. Her ten books of stories include Something Out There (1984), and Jump and Other Stories (1991). Her novels include The Lying Days (1953), A World of Strangers (1958), Occasion for Loving (1963), The Late Bourgeois World (1966), A Guest of Honour (1971), The Conservationist (1975), Burger’s Daughter (1979), July’s People (1981), A Sport of Nature (1987), My Son’s Story (1990), None to Accompany Me (1994), The House Gun (1998), The Pickup (2001), Get a Life (2005), and No Time Like the Present (2012). A World of Strangers, The Late Bourgeois World, and Burger’s Daughter were originally banned in South Africa. She published three books of literary and political essays: The Essential Gesture (1988); Writing and Being (1995), the Charles Eliot Norton Lectures she gave at Harvard in 1994; and Living in Hope and History (1999).

    Ms. Gordimer was a vice president of PEN International and an executive member of the Congress of South African Writers. She was a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in Great Britain and an honorary member of both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She was also a Commandeur de’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France). She held fourteen honorary degrees from universities including Harvard, Yale, Smith College, the New School for Social Research, City College of New York, the University of Leuven in Belgium, Oxford University, and Cambridge University.

    Ms. Gordimer won numerous literary awards, including the Booker Prize for The Conservationist, both internationally and in South Africa.
  • Nadine Gordimer Copyright Maureen Isaacson
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The House Gun

A Novel

Nadine Gordimer

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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