Books: Life in The Territory of Exile A SPORT OF NATURE

by Nadine Gordimer; Knopf; 336 pages; $18.95

The drama of South Africa seems to be playing itself out with Aristotelian balance. There was a beginning, in the late 1940s, when the white minority government instituted apartheid, a crazy quilt of laws designed to restrict, presumably forever, the freedoms and aspirations of a black majority. The middle, the escalating restiveness and violence provoked by a system too rigid to bend, is now. And surely an end, whether it be awful or awesome, must come. Unlike such interminably troubled spots as Northern Ireland or the Middle East, South Africa generates each day one of the oldest questions to capture human...

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