The Pickup

The Pickup

Book - 2002
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When Julie Summers's car breaks down on a sleazy street in a South African city, a young Arab mechanic named Abdu comes to her aid. Their attraction to one another is fueled by different motives. Julie is in rebellion against her wealthy background and her father; Abdu, an illegal immigrant, is desperate to avoid deportation to his impoverished country. In the course of their relationship, there are unpredictable consequences, and overwhelming emotions will overturn each one's notion of the other. Set in the new South Africa and in an Arab village in the desert, The Pickup is "a masterpiece of creative empathy . . . a gripping tale of contemporary anguish and unexpected desire, and it also opens the Arab world to unusually nuanced perception" (Edward W. Said).

Publisher: New York : Penguin, 2002, c2001.
ISBN: 9780142001424
Branch Call Number: FIC Gordi
Characteristics: 270 p.


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Jul 21, 2014

She's a good writer, but reminds me too much of Margaret Atwood. Difficult to enjoy reading her novels, she thinks too much and leaves little room for the reader to think for themselves.

Jun 25, 2014

This novel explores issues of race and class privilege in contemporary South Africa. By intertwining the lives of wealthy, white Julie with Ibrahim, an illegal immigrant from the Middle East, Gordimer captures the social complexity that can occur when people become aware of, and uncomfortable with, their own privilege. Gordimer demonstrates that though it is a positive thing to be aware of privilege, what too often happens is that the privileged remain so wrapped up in their own views and problems that they overlook the complex lives of the less privileged around them, and the "solutions" they enact end up being more self-serving and narrowminded than helpful for social change.

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