Dan Jacobson's strongest book (certainly his first two were incident-novellas) develops the principal theme of the short stories in the collection last year- The Zulu and the Zeide: and the injustice and inhumanity of the racial issue in his native South Africa is handled in bitter, subdued but unequivocal terms. Kenneth Makeer, light-skinned (a white grandfather) grows up in the squalor of the Cape Colored in a small town where he becomes the protege of the elderly, somewhat eccentric Miss Bentwisch who recognizes his superior promise. Also under her influence is Isabel, a liberal by instinct, who eventually becomes engaged in the ""good works"" of her class but is always dissatisfied with herself and disquieted by the distress she sees. Ultimately they meet in London where Kenneth has had the benefits of the education provided by Miss Bentwisch, where he has not forgotten Isabel from an incident in his childhood (although she does not remember him), and where he falls in love with her but lacks the courage of admitting what he is. Ultimately- together- they face the condemnation of their native country.... The inherited incubus of racial fears and guilts and shame, the lovelessness and loneliness of those- both black and white- who move outside and beyond the racial barrier, all this stirs anger and compassion, unacceptable as it may be to many readers.