My Son's Story

My Son's StoryThe transition in South Africa, a long segregationist regime of oppression to a multiracial democracy, there was surprisingly peaceful and negotiated manner Thanks to the example of Nelson Mandela, who was released after 27 years in prison, and the moral conduct of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as a bulwark of a new form of justice, the country did not disintegrate in new power struggles.Written with skill, although it should be said that some steps are not entirely successful, certainly leaves the reader much matter who rethink, especially with regard to emotional relationships closer and conviction, often mendacious, to know well the people we live. Em A Hist Ria De Meu Filho, Nadine Gordimer Descreve Os Conflitos Com Que Uma Fam Lia Negra Sul Africana Se Depara Todos Os Dias O Pai, Sonny, Procura Encontrar Um Equil Brio Entre O Seu Compromisso Com A Liberta O Dos Seus Irm Os De Ra A E O Seu Amor Por Uma Mulher Branca Esta Representa Aquela Fac O De Cidad Os De Origem Europeia Que S O For Ados A Viver Num Sistema Que Acreditam Estar Errado Will, O Filho De Sonny E De Aila, A Esposa Negra, Tenta Compreender, Por Sua Vez, As Dif Ceis Rela Es Mantidas Por Aqueles Que O RodeiamNeste Livro, A Autora Retoma O Tema Do Apartheid, Presente Em Muitas Das Suas Obras, E Apresenta O Problema Racial Com Crua Veracidade E Sem Simplifica Es Tamb M A Hist Ria De Uma Fam Lia Cujos Membros Partilham Os Mesmos Ideais, Mas Apresentam Formas Diversas De Enfrentar E Resolver Os Problemas Sociais Another wonderful book by Gordimer, I thought this was a seamlessly written gem Again Gordimer tells a riveting story, creates fully drawn characters, brilliantly uses interior monologue and descriptive writing, and at the same time inserts the insideousness of racism and the scars of apartheid between every line.Readers feel what it was like for blacks living in racist South Africa, and also an insightful look at the evolution of a marriage, a love affair, a father son relationship and a young man s coming of age. There is wisdom in this book, per usual for Gordimer She understands family and revolution But I tired of Will s ferocity towards his cheating father, and the father s fierce attachment to his lover Maybe another time. First off, I need to state this I am so happy to have had the good fortune to pick up this book For those of my friends who have heard of Blossoms bookshop, this is yet another reason why it s just SO awesome Second, please do not read the section between the spoiler marks unless a You ve already read this book or b You re not planning to read this bookNow, about the book itself, what struck me the most is the sheer intelligence of the writer Nadine Gordimer knows how to manipulate the minds of her readers and hold them captive in the world she paints around her characters The theme of this book seems commonplace enough an extra marital affair that gets found out But the backdrop against which it s set race tensions and uprisings for equality , combined with very complex characters, makes it anything but commonplace Sonny, initially a school teacher by profession is married to Aila, and has two children Baby and Will Will, aged fifteen at the start of the story, stumbles upon Sonny s affair with Hannah, a white woman This forms the starting point, and the basis for the entire novel I found I could naturally relate to the turmoil of this adolescent s mind introspecting so much, obsessing so much He often sinks into negativity, thinking through every aspect of his father s affair Something that not only shattered his ideal of what he thought his parents lives were, but also made him agonize over the details of his father s secret life The inner workings of his father s mind how he felt about his other woman as well as how he thought about his wife now Whether he felt shame, guilt, anything, nothing A boy with his heart broken Broken by the man he looked up to throughout his life up until then The man who d set such high ideals for his own self as well as his family The format of the book is an alternating narrative one from the point of view of Will, the son, and the other being Sonny s his father s side of the story The two facets seem to form a continuity fitting like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle Spoiler start The two sides of the same story are related with a great deal of seeming honesty, from differing character s points of view This lulls you into believing that what you read IS in fact a collage of two people stitching together a story Until the very end, that is That s when you realise, your very premise is wrong And then you realise, that all this while, you had assumed both voices to be present in the narration Sometimes even three voices Hannah s story comes through occasionally, although the dominant voices are those of the father and son.The revelation that this premise is wrong is unsettling, to say the least The entire story is narrated by one mind, Will s But that mind, while narrating Sonny s story is a different one from that of the isolated teenager s you see initially to be Will s It is Will putting himself in his father s shoes Telling Sonny s story with an empathy that only his son is capable of Will, in a different stage of life.This revelation is also honest in its caveats You are warned at the very last page of the book that there might have been places where Will s own judgements might have spilled over to what were supposed to be others stories It draws a thick screen of haze over the entire narrative you ve just read Leaves you questioning how much of what you ve read is an unbiased account How much is portrayed as it really was It leaves all character outlines blurred. Spoiler end More about Gordimer s writing What other writers take pages to convey through extensive description, she does in a single sentence or in a couple of sentences But equally, in order to process such complicated thought processes in very unorthodox sentence construction, it takes immense concentration and ever re reading of a sentence multiple times You really need to lose yourself in this book, emote with the characters, to grasp what Gordimer is conveying at each moment She doesn t waste words to ensure her reader is with her at every point It is up to the reader to empathize, and thus comprehend her prose, economical in its usage of words.Another feature which needs some getting used to is the excessive use of hyphens Almost every paragraph has one sentence strewn with hyphens, unpredictable lengths of sentences separated by them While reading some reviews of this book before I picked it up , I came across a few whose opinions were very different from my own during and after reading the book myself I do agree with one reviewer who pointed out the repeated usage of the needing Hannah device I too felt, as I was progressing through the book that the phrase needing Hannah was used too often to remain poignant But given the richness of the rest of the book, this seems like a trifling complaint However, I certainly did not get impatient with the boy s obsession and fretting about his father s affair It was only too natural, and formed the very foundation for the story That kind of a complaint from a reader would make this book an unsuitable choice for them. Irk l k, ten renginden insan ayr m , toplumsal kaos ve bir a k Sonny nin hikayesi ok etkileyici zellikle siyahi insanlar n ya ad klar negatif ayr mc l okumay sevenlere tavsiye ederim Nobel li yazar m z ok iyi bir i kartm Siyahilerin g z nden olaylara bak yor olmam z da farkl bir tat vermi Ak c , s r kleyici ve duygusal bir hikaye. 3.5 stars Esta es la segunda obra que he le do de la autora y que no ha conseguido despertarme. My Son s Story is a tough read The prose is gritty, but it is not evocative naturally it instead engages the reader to look for a connection With each paragraph, there is a feeling of discomfort The effort that goes to create and depict a unity between aspirations self of equality of freedom and context other of the anti apartheid movement in South Africa is distinctive The movement itself is not the highlight of the story It isa story of a transition from the innocence of adolescence to the harshness of reality There came a point, not possible to determine exactly when, at which equality became a cry that couldn t be made out, had been misheard or misinterpreted, turned out to be something else finer Freedom The struggle is deeply personal for Sonny and his family, and it unfolds very differently for each member who becomes a part of it The magnetism of the fight I find is the essence of the resistance the felt voice of the collective The blacks were accustomed to closeness In queues for transport, for work permits, for housing allocation, for all the stamped paper that authorized their lives loaded into overcrowded trains and buses, fitting a family into one room, they cannot keep the outline of space another, invisible skin whites project around themselves, distanced from each other in everything but sexual and parental intimacy One ultimate body of bodies was inhaling and exhaling in the single diastole and systole, and above was the freedom of the great open afternoon sky The family becomes the individual unit in the struggle, and each member has a separate identity albeit a proclivity to follow the head of the household This subtle gender motif grounds the story very firmly in my mind Particularly the story of Aila, the wife, and mother While there is general attribution of imagination and change to the father, there is an idea of continuity expressed through the silent wife and protective mother, Aila It makes me feel the dynamics of family life otherwise and in times of crises and here it is both in the private and public sphere family and the movement The nature of work she Hannah did develops high emotions It arises from crises It deals only with disruption, disjunction circumstances in peoples lives that cannot be met with the responses that serve for continuity Hannah s the lover position questions continuity, and in fact engages with the imagination and idea of resistance and change quite the opposite to Aila.The revelation of the title, I leave it for you to discover, again establishes the story firmly in my mind The juxtaposition of the son s voice with the author depicts the generational perspective that emerges as a third layer of locating the story globally It makes the novel truly a work of literary merit. My dear friend Carrie lent me this book, which made me both elated I love getting book recommendations and nervous what if I didn t like it My fears were totally groundless though the book is awesome I had only heard of Gordimer in the context of a long New York Review of Books article about South African writers, which as is sometimes the case with the NYRB, made me feel like I knew everything about her, and didn t need to actually read her work Big mistake And worse, probably means I need to run out and grab me some Doris Lessing, too No Coetzee, though I read Disgrace and that was enough for me Anway, My Son s Story takes place in South Africa, before the end of apartheid It revolves around one black family and their experiences under that system It starts with the son, Will, exiting a movie theater one day to find his father clearly out on a date with another woman and a white one at that From that point it details the family history both before and after this incident Without giving too much away, what blew me away about the novel is how deftly it intertwines the personal and the political Gordimer captures so clearly how, no matter what, no person who lived in this corrupt system whether an activist like his father or not like his mother could escape its tentacles What seems like two stories the political activity and the personal betrayal, is really one story because the two are inseparable Sonny, the father, realizes at the end of the novel that, regarding his revolutionary girlfriend, Hannah, the international activist, ut the centre of life wasn t there, with her, the centre of life was where the banalities are enacted the fuss over births, marriages, family affairs with their survival rituals of food and clothing In this case it is true You cannot have one life with your revolutionary girlfriend and protect your family from it the center of life is with your family, and no matter what you do, it is all interconnected And those who are happiest are those like his mother and sister who embrace that the personal and political must be the same, if one is to be a fulfilled person Neither Sonny who tries to separate the two, nor Will, who rejects the political entirely are whole people until the very last pages, when Will embraces his own political act in the only way he could.This is also a book about fathers and sons, and how they wound each other, and need each other and resent each other and feed off each other, and that could be the subject of an honors thesis, not just a blog post, so I will leave it at that Very interesting stuff Go read My Son s Story you will be rewarded.

Nadine Gordimer was a South African writer, political activist, and recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature She was recognized as a woman who through her magnificent epic writing has in the words of Alfred Nobel been of very great benefit to humanity.Gordimer s writing dealt with moral and racial issues, particularly apartheid in South Africa Under that regime, works such as Burger

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  • Hardcover
  • 253 pages
  • My Son's Story
  • Nadine Gordimer
  • Portuguese
  • 21 January 2017

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