Mehring is rich. He has all the privileges and possessions that South Africa has to offer, but his possessions refuse to remain objects. His wife, son and mistress leave him; his foreman and workers become increasingly indifferent to his stewardship; even the land rises up, as drought, then flood, destroy his farm. As the upheaval in Mehring's world increasingly resembles that in the country as a whole, it becomes clear that only a seismic shift in ideas and concrete action can avert annihilation.
Nadine Gordimer's many novels include The Conservationist, joint winner of the Booker Prize, Get A Life, Burger's Daughter, July's People, My Son's Story and The Pickup. Her collections of short stories include The Soft Voice of the Serpent, Something Out There, Jump, Loot and, most recently, Beethoven Was One-Sixteenth Black. She has also collected and edited Telling Tales, a story anthology published in fourteen languages whose royalties go to HIV/AIDS organisations. In 2010 her nonfiction writings were collected in Telling Times and a substantial selection of her stories was published in Life Times. Her most recent novel was No Time Like the Present, published in 2012. Nadine Gordimer was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991. She lived in South Africa until she died in 2014.