This collage of white South Africans (which follows Gordon's parallel book of interviews with black domestic servants) evokes real people against a rich succession of backdrops. Gordon's extraordinary sense of South African locale infuses her characters' personae and stories, conveying the material comfort and energetic sense of striving many of them share. It is doubtful that a group characterized by almost universal good humor and realized ambition is typical, but they are undoubtedly quite variegated politically. For most of them, however, the current approach to black-white relations of F. W. de Klerk goes to the margin of political acceptability-or far beyond. The beauty and comfort of their lives could all be swept away.