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Pan Macmillan

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Read an Excerpt from Nadine Gordimer’s Final Novel, No Time Like the Present

No Time Like the PresentFollowing the passing of Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer O, The Oprah Magazine has shared an exclusive excerpt from her final novel, No Time Like the Present.

This novel explores the relationship between Steve and Jabulile, who are now free to explore their interracial relationship after the abolishment of laws prohibiting sexual relationships between black and white South Africans during apartheid. They grapple with freedom as they try to raise their “born free” children in a new South Africa.

In the excerpt Steve, now a university lecturer, is caught in the midst of a protesting crowd of students, wondering: “What’s the difference between trashing a university that can provide knowledge only for money, and the street gangs who hijack and rob—ah, but there’s the difference, the hijack brings means to buy, own the advertised products the hijacker doesn’t have; there’s no gain in ransacking a university.”

Read the excerpt:

He can’t see far among the bodies pressed around him. There are white hands among those raised in the stomping, chanting, so he couldn’t be so noticeably there, the absorption in purpose is blindly fervent, he knows from political rallies. In the mass you have no direction of your own, he is carried along in a surge towards the main gates of the campus. Outside between the street and the gates, another gathering—a few pausing in curiosity before turning away, others, some black men and women literally throwing their yelling weight about. All cling to gates too wide, tall and strong to shake: they’ve joined the students’ action.

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