How else can you defend yourself against losing your hi-fi equipment, your TV set and computer, your watch and rings? A house gun, like a house cat; that is a fact of ordinary life in many cities of the world as we come to the end of the twentieth century, especially in South Africa. At this time the successful, respected executive director of an insurance company, Harold, and his doctor wife, Claudia, for whom violence could never be a means of solving personal conflict, are faced with something that could never happen to them: their son has committed murder. What kind of loyalty do a mother and a father owe a son who has committed this unimaginable horror? What have they done, in influencing his character; more ominously, where is it they have failed him? "The House Gun" is a passionate narrative of love being particularly complex between parents and their children. It moves with the restless pace of living itself, from the intimate to the general condition; if it is a parable of present violence, it is also an affirmation of the will to human reconciliation that starts where it must, between individuals.
Nadine Gordimer's recent books are My Son's Story (1990) and Jump and Other Stories (1991). She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991. She lives in Johannesburg.