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Under the Skin

Under the Skin

(1964)
A novel by

 
As Tom Grant saw it, when he and Louise turned up at London Airport to welcome Jay Nbola of Kenya, there was no reason for behaving as though anything extraordinary was happening: he had invited a friend to stay with them during his year at London University; what did it matter that the friend was black?

Louise Grant couldn't see the occasion as all that ordinary, but it did give her the chance to prove she was none of those things she would genuinely have hated to be - prejudiced, provincial, reactionary. Thus Louise's greeting to Jay was more cordial even than her husband's.

In this affectionate and ironic novel, Nina Bawden has created two thoroughly decent and likable people. Yet the Grants, without realizing it, have settled for the most indulgent view of themselves and their own motives. The advent of a visitor from Kenya jolts that settled view. Reality gets under their skins: the presence in their homes of a "primitive" African triggers explosions of alarmingly primitive behaviour in their English hearts. And Jay Nbola goes through a considerable amount of hell before his host and hostess have suffered enough to see him as the wholly separate human being he is. When that has happened, they have also learned some crucial things about their feelings for one another.

First published in 1964, Nina Bawden's dialogue is a delight, and her cool and wry compassion reveals the people of her novel as the very closest kin to all of us - under the skin.

 
Used availability for Nina Bawden's Under the Skin


See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US
 

Hardback Editions

June 1989 : USA Hardback
Title: Under the Skin
Author(s): Nina Bawden
ISBN: 0-88411-124-5 / 978-0-88411-124-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Amereon Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

November 2012 : UK Paperback
Title: Under The Skin (Bello)
Author(s): Nina Bawden
ISBN: 1-4472-3611-4 / 978-1-4472-3611-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Bello
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

July 1968 : UK Paperback
Title: Under the Skin
Author(s): Nina Bawden
ISBN: 0-7221-1501-6 / 978-0-7221-1501-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Sphere
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

November 2012 : UK Kindle edition
Title: Under The Skin (Bello)
Author(s): Nina Bawden
Publisher: Bello
Availability: Amazon UK   



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