Nadine Gordimer’s Is There Nowhere Else We Can Meet is an intense snapshot of a mugging attempt. The story follows an unnamed female narrator that stumbles across a man that attempts to rob her. The story is meant to explore the themes of racial inequality and tension between white and black people. However, the text fails to capture this theme without outside research into Gordimer herself and ends up as a forgetful tale of a scary encounter. Nadine Gordimer’s Is There Nowhere Else We Can Meet fails to create a memorable story because of unnecessary details and lack of subtext.

     First, the tale fails to capture the reader because of pointless details. She pads the story by adding details that do not add to the plot nor themes during the encounter. Gordimer describes as “She had pulled a little sheath of pine needles, three in a twist of thin brown tissue, and as she walked she ran them against her thumb” (Gordimer). Because of this, the reader quickly loses interest in the story.

    Next, the story does not include enough subtext to understand the theme without further research. Gordimer is known for her political activism and stories regarding racial inequality. However, this particular tale reads more as an eerie story rather than a political text. There is no subtext or references to racial inequality or skin color anywhere. This flaw makes it easy for the reader to forget the story.

     In conclusion, although great in atmosphere, Gordimer’s story fails to capture the reader due to its vagueness and padding. Because of these flaws, it becomes rather difficult to recommend the text to another reader.


Nadine Gordimer. “Is There Nowhere Else We Can Meet?” Short Fiction An Anthology: Second Edition. Ed. Levene, Mark, and Rosemary Sullivan. Oxford University Press, 2003. Print.