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Occasion for Loving

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  86 ratings  ·  8 reviews
First published in 1963, this novel explores the love affair between a black man and a white woman in a time when lovers could be imprisoned for breaking the law against sexual relations across the colour bar.
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 1st 1994 by Penguin Books (first published January 1st 1963)
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3.64  · 
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I wasn't sure I was in the mood for a Nadine Gordimer novel but it was up next on the 1963 list of My Big Fat Reading Project. I opened the book and was immediately swept away by this story of an interracial love affair set deep in the days of Apartheid in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Jessie and Tom Stillwell are white liberals who do not countenance the "color bar." In fact, they claim not to see color. They live in a somewhat ramshackle fashion with four children, he a professor and she rather
Jul 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Nadine Gordimer has a way of getting under the skin of her characters which makes them uncomfortably familiar. Although times have changed and official apartheid is a thing of the past, the personal situations of the lovers and those around them remain authentic and relevant. The novel is also brutally realistic in bringing to an inglorious end what was an impossible relationship. Where does this leave the main character, the narrator, Jessie, who only reluctantly welcomed the married couple Boa ...more
Nov 21, 2012 rated it liked it
I just finished reading this early Gordimer. It was good, shocking and illuminating, but nothing very different from what had been covered in some of her later works. Perhaps if I had read it when it was first written in 1963, it would have had a stronger effect on me. It is a good read.
Jul 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
I was happy to discover this older Gordimer novel at a great used bookstore in St. Louis (thanks Kate!)--& it really was an engrossing read.
Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Such insight and understanding of love, life, prejudice and all with a deep deep respect for human beings. Writing in the 60s what would have informed her profound consciousness?
Anno Nomius
Feb 05, 2017 rated it liked it
good book where the background theme is race, the author won the nobel prize for literature in 1991. This book was published in 1963 however the theme continues today. There were several catchy lines throughout the book... some I liked ....
"if you did not find blackness abhorrent and outcast, was the only alternative the fastidious suppression of all personal responses in the common denominator of shared humanity?"
"i don't mind him being black"
"do you mind sometimes when other people are?"
Aug 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Really beautifully written book about real love. Sad because it must be hidden in order to survive.
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Nadine Gordimer was a South African writer, political activist, and recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature. She was recognized as a woman "who through her magnificent epic writing has – in the words of Alfred Nobel – been of very great benefit to humanity".

Gordimer's writing dealt with moral and racial issues, particularly apartheid in South Africa. Under that regime, works such as Burger