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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Pickup

The Pickup

A Novel

Nadine Gordimer



A New York Times Notable Book
Winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Africa

"Ranks as one of Gordimer's best novels…It transcends politics and aims at a meaning higher than human striving."---The Philadelphia Inquirer

When Julie Summers's car breaks down on a street in Cape Town, a young Arab mechanic comes to her aid. Their attraction to each other is immediate. Julia, the daughter of a powerful businessman, is trying to escape a privileged background she despises. Abdu, an educated but poor illegal immigrant, is desperate to evade deportation. The consequences of this chance meeting are unpredictable and intense, as each person's notions of the other are overturned. Set in the social mix of post-apartheid South Africa and an unnamed Arab country, Nadine Gordimer's The Pickup "is a masterpiece of creative empathy...a gripping tale of contemporary anguish and unexpected desire, and it also opens the Arab world to unusually nuanced perception" (Edward W. Said).

ALA Notable Books - Winner

Clustered predators round a kill. It's a small car with a young woman inside it. The battery has failed and taxis, cars, minibuses, vans, motorcycles butt and challenge one another, reproach and curse her, a traffic mob mounting its own confusion....

Praise for The Pickup

“Astonishing...It is hard to conceive of a more sympathetic, more intimate introduction to the lives of ordinary Muslims than we are given here.” —J. M. Coetzee, The New York Review of Books

“This is surely what art has at its highest octane done: attempts to push its way around the ineffable, to get inside others' heads, to cross the many boundaries that so terminally and tragically divide us.” —The Washington Post Book World

“Gordimer plays the lovers off of one another expertly….She explores the problems of dispossession with characteristic subtlety.” —The New Yorker

“Ms. Gordimer's ability to delineate the psychological consequences of exile, class, disaffection, and racial prejudice enables her to lend Julie and [Ibrahim's] relationship an unusual poignancy and depth.” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“Brilliant…Gordimer's stark sentences and emotional depth make most modern fiction seem trivial.” —The Times (London)


Reviews from Goodreads

Nadine Gordimer

Nadine Gordimer (1923-2014) was a Nobel Prize winner whose novels include the Booker Prize-winning The Conservationist, Commonwealth Writers’ Prize-winning The Pickup, and No Time Like the Present. Gordimer’s short story collections include Loot and Jump and Other Stories. She also published literary and political essay collections such as Living in Hope and History.

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 a Commandeur of l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France).

image of Nadine Gordimero
Copyright Maureen Isaacson

Nadine Gordimer

New York Times Obituary

BBC News Obituary


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