Other Lives

Andre Brink, Author . Sourcebooks $29.99 (316p) ISBN 978-1-4022-1391-5

Brink's latest novel—essentially a collection of three novellas—is a vividly imagined if claustrophobic chronicle of the lives of three subtly connected men living in contemporary South Africa. The first story is the dreamlike tale of a white painter named David le Roux who one day returns to his studio and finds a black woman named Sarah and her two children waiting for him. He quickly surmises that the woman believes he is her husband and the father of the children, but he has never seen any of them before. The second story revolves around a white architect (and acquaintance of David) named Steve, who looks into the mirror one day and discovers he is black. The third story is that of Derek Hugo, a celebrated pianist infatuated with singer Nina Rousseau. Despite years of womanizing (including an affair with Steve's wife), Derek cannot bring himself to touch Nina, and the night he finally makes his move, their date is violently interrupted. An enervating awkwardness suffuses the pieces, though the conceit is a little too thin to carry a whole book. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 06/30/2008
Release date: 09/01/2008
Ebook - 322 pages - 978-1-4022-2295-5
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