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Get a Life by Nadine Gordimer
Get a Life begins with Paul Bannerman, a South African ecologist, being treated for thyroid cancer with radioactive iodine. To spare his wife and child any peril from the radioactivity, he returns to his parents' home to recuperate. He's returned to his childhood state, being cared for by his mother, a civil rights lawyer, and the black housekeeper who's been with the family his whole life. Paul's wife, an advertising executive, realizes that her clients are facilitating the foreign corporations who want to take advantage of liberal land use laws for their own interests. Paul's illness forces them all the re-evaluate both their lives and the new challenges facing their country. Nadine Gordimer's has received mostly positive reviews with the Philadelphia Inquirer saying, "At first whiff, Get a Life feels an odd title for this novel. But as the action progresses, and Gordimer masterfully grinds her yarn to a quivering conclusion, no answers have been provided, and the moniker she has given this provocative book seems perfect."