Beethoven Was One-Sixteenth Black: And Other Stories (Google eBook)

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Macmillan, Nov 27, 2007 - Fiction - 192 pages
25 Reviews
"You’re not responsible for your ancestry, are you . . . But if that’s so, why have marched under banned slogans, got yourself beaten up by the police, arrested a couple of times; plastered walls with subversive posters . . . The past is valid only in relation to whether the present recognizes it."

In this collection of new stories Nadine Gordimer crosses the frontiers of politics, memory, sexuality, and love with the fearless insight that is the hallmark of her writing. In the title story a middle-aged academic who had been an anti-apartheid activist embarks on an unadmitted pursuit of the possibilities for his own racial identity in his great-grandfather’s fortune-hunting interlude of living rough on diamond diggings in South Africa, his young wife far away in London. “Dreaming of the Dead” conjures up a lunch in a New York Chinese restaurant where Susan Sontag and Edward Said return in surprising new avatars as guests in the dream of a loving friend. The historian in “History” is a parrot who confronts people with the scandalizing voice reproduction of quarrels and clandestine love-talk on which it has eavesdropped.“Alternative Endings” considers the way writers make arbitrary choices in how to end stories—and offers three, each relating the same situation, but with a different resolution, arrived at by the three senses: sight, sound, and smell.

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Review: Beethoven Was One-Sixteenth Black: And Other Stories

User Review  - Sean de la Rosa - Goodreads

I enjoyed Loot more. Again, nice to read stuff by her that isn't just focused on the struggle. Read full review

Review: Beethoven Was One-Sixteenth Black: And Other Stories

User Review  - Nichola - Goodreads

This was a very difficult book to read. Some of the sentences barely made sense. I wish Gordimer would return to good story-telling, grammatically correct sentences, and plain English. Read full review


Tape Measure
Dreaming of the Dead
A Frivolous Woman
Safety Procedures
Mother Tongue
A Beneficiary
Alternative Endings

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About the author (2007)

Nadine Gordimer, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1991, is the author of fourteen novels, nine volumes of stories, and three nonfiction collections. She lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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