By Nadine Gordimer
James Bray, an English colonial administrator who used to be expelled from a important African country for siding with its black nationalist leaders, is invited again ten years later to affix within the country's independence celebrations. As he witnesses the factionalism and violence that erupt as innovative beliefs are subverted by way of ambition and greed, Bray is once more compelled to settle on facets, a call that turns into either his triumph and his undoing.
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He was amused and perhaps slightly flattered that the girl should forget they belonged to different generations. ' 'One can't be sure. ' 'But you don't think so? ' - A statement more than a ques tion. He had the feeling she was talking about marriage, now: her own ; and his, that she knew had lasted twenty-two years people talked of Olivia and himself linked in the same breath, as it were, but it was as a combination of two intact personalities 46 rather than the anonymous, double-headed organism, husband and-wife ; perhaps it was something she attained to, not very hopefully, with her Neil.
But the forty- seven -' 'Forty-eight' � Timothy Odara's eyes were closed; leaning against the wall he kept his lips drawn back slightly, alert. '- I'm sorry, forty-eight years you were under British rule, digging their mines, building roads for them, making towns, living in shanties and waiting on them, cleaning up after them, treated like dirt - now it's all over, you really think there was any way at all you could enter the modem world without suffering? You think there was someone else would have given you the alphabet and electricity and kill e d off the malaria mosquito, just for love?
I wonder what he's crawling up Norman's arse for now. Look at it. - Well, Raymond, here's to your first million. ' A black man waved with an important smile, looking up from the depths of a conversation that brought him forward in his chair, knees wide, trousers straining, to confer with the white man opposite him . '- Joe Kabala was here with Stein at lunch, as well. The milling com· pany. Going to be the first black one on that board, wait and see. A lovely champion of private enterprise, keeping the seat warm for white capital investment and raking in the director's fees.
A Guest of Honour by Nadine Gordimer