Earlier I said I would be expanding my reading to include some of the award winning works that are about. I just finished reading The Pickup by the late Nadine Gordimer of South Africa. She won the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature and I can see why. . This book I did not inhale like a cold Coke on a hot summer day but rather chewed on it slowly like an exotic dish savoring its texture, aroma, and flavors.
Nadine Gordimer wrote a story very rich with the minutiae of life like the beads of sweat rolling off the cold beer sitting on the dirty bar table, but she overlooks other facts like what is the name of her main character for many pages. Her writing style is unique, almost like having a narrator telling you what is happening. The structure of the sentences is more complex than commonly seen in American literature, which is refreshing.
The Pickup is about a well to do but naive South African caucasian woman who sees something special in a soft-spoken illegal immigrant Arab grease monkey. Reluctantly they fall in love, face the dread of all young couples of meeting the family, then move away to face the troubles of the adult world. The novel ends before their story does, the reader is left to wonder “what will happen next?”
The Pickup looks at friends and family, laws and justice, being the insider and being the outsider, religion’s role in life, and the hope for a better tomorrow cause the grass is always greener …. away from the desert.
I recommend The Pickup for someone who wants a book to savor.At its heart, the novel is a romance told by a sociologist, not too mushy and full of realism and social awareness. Not a light read