It is interesting that the two best writers to emerge from the South African scene of social and political change and to reflect it in their work are both women (Dan Jacobson cannot touch them). Less embattled that Doris Lessing who was actually her forerunner, Nadine Gordimer in her stories, novels, and in this case a novella, manages to combine conscience with sensibility and engage the reader on a less ideological, more intimate level. This is in part a retrospective of Max Van Den Sandt, as the news of his suicide reaches his divorced wife, Liz; Max who had been one of the casualties of his socially prominent family and his time, always looking for possibilities (""but under what stone do they lie?"") and always needing and failing to secure attention, acknowledgement, approval. His suicide is a last gesture. But it is also, fragmentarily, Liz' story living in the ""late bourgeois world"" of the title which has become obsolete; unattached (a lover who is not much more than a ""sexual connection""); and now half-heartedly preparing to really turn her back on it.... Miss Gordimer, always an accomplished writer, manages to register a good many symptomatic ideas and subtle feelings which lose nothing in transition to the page; they remain instantaneous and sharp.