Before I Forget
Chris Minaar is a writer; a distinguished South African writer, an old writer, a writer who has lost whatever gift he had for writing. It is on New Year's Eve, courtesy of his stalled car, that he meets Rachel, a young sculptress, a good samaritan who becomes the great love of hi s life, a love greater for being unfulfilled. Having believed that his remaining function should be to comfort his mother, more than a centu ry old but now inclined to talk with alarming frankness about her life , he finds himself captivated by Rachel and drawn into a close friends hip with her photographer husband George. As their friendship develops Chris must reconcile himself to an unaccustomed type of intimacy but one that inevitably threatens this precarious triangular relationship. Woven through this is the story of his life and of a lifetime's lovin g. For he has known many women in his time.Brief affairs, extended aff airs, a marriage; intensely carnal encounters and tender attachments; women who leave him unexpectedly, those whose leaving is agonisingly p rotracted and those, perhaps the greater number, who never really go a t all. From Daphne, the troubled dancer, to Bonnie, his authoritarian father's secretary, and Grethe, who arranges for her many lovers to me et at a party in her absence, these women define and inform his life. As it becomes clear that this book is the final writing act of Chris's creative life so we understand that the recollection of these many lo ves is an attempt to bring order to an otherwise chaotic existence.