Winter 1964 • Vol. XXVI No. 1 Fiction |

One Whole Year, and Even More

I was waiting for Iscott in the foyer of the savoy yesterday when the two of them started nattering next to me. "This one's a Swede—we wouldn't take an Italian again; no thank you!" "We always have Finns. I mean she's perfectly trustworthy and sensible, but she hasn't picked up much of the language yet, and once the children come in from school they are inclined to lead her rather a dance …" The two silly bitches were turned out into the street by the revolving door, their huge fur hats displayed jerkily like the busbies of toy soldiers. The one we had was a German.   People in England do talk about their au pair girls like this. Everyone seems to have a favorite brand, the most reliable, the most equable—you'd think they were discussing beer or cigarettes. Once they've had a "bad experience" with an Italian, Italians are out. Once they've had a good Spaniard, Spaniards are in. Some even swear by outlandish tastes—a preference for something like Finns. The gi

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South African writer and political activist Nadine Gordimer received numerous awards and honors during her career, among them the Booker Prize, the Rome Prize, and, in 1991, the Nobel Prize in Literature. We revisit here a relatively early story, first published in KR and later appearing in a 1965 collection of her short fiction, Not For Publication, and Other Stories.

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