FRIDAY'S FOOTPRINT by Nadine Gordimer

FRIDAY'S FOOTPRINT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Another collection to be added to the stories in The Soft Voice of the Serpent and Six Feet of Country (and not forgetting her two novels, The Lying Days and A World of Strangers), this lights the ""wick of identity"" for the characters on view. Twelve stories and a novella make up a volume of people, often from a Jamesian view, place them from South Africa to Cairo, and observe their acceptance of the conditional rather than the absolute. A local Madame Bovary refusing small town life; a woman unable to erase the shadow of her first husband; a mother who lets a nephew despoil her husband's authority; sophisticates ignoring a child's need for holding a belief; a girl teased by an uncle about a non-existent beau; a circus which intensifies a woman's past; a crocodile hunt pointing up two marriages.....these and others are a clean dissection of people in an area of time and place. The novella, An Image of Success, records a man's progress towards freedom which is not necessarily successful by economic standards, for Charles Butters goes from wealth to tramp-like poverty to pursue the course he wants. If there is a surfeit here -- it is of defences penetrated for an abstracting of flaws -- and some virtues -- and a depth of comprehension of man, and woman, as a vulnerable creature. Precise.

Pub Date: Jan. 11th, 1959
Publisher: Viking