AT THE STILL POINT by Mary Benson

AT THE STILL POINT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Miss Benson is a South African who has been a reporter for various London newspapers, much like Anne Dawson here who, always having been ""on the outside,"" returns to her native South Africa to become involved, indeed immersed, in the turbulence of the black-white, liberal-leftist versus Nationalist, schism. She repudiates the blinkered society into which she was born and her friends are connected with the party so conveniently tagged as Communist in an earlier decade. One of them, Kobie Versfeld, who might have united the races, was forced underground and Anne agrees to help Matthew, an independent lawyer, working on black trials cases. His clandestine affiliations with Versfeld are not openly admitted. There are some strong scenes particularly when they go down to the Eastern Cape to defend a schoolteacher in a ""tinpot Court"" and fail in the fight lost before it started. She also falls in love with Matthew although the inevitability of his arrest is tacitly understood. Miss Benson's highstrung, seismic perceptions give the novel a certain immediacy and conviction; a little like Doris Lessing but lesser Lessing--more passion spent than intellect applied.

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 1969
Publisher: Gambit