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The Conservationist is a 1974 novel by the South African writer Nadine Gordimer. The book was a joint winner of the Booker-McConnell Prize for fiction. Gordimer was the recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Mehring is rich. He has all the privileges and possessions that South Africa has to offer, but his possessions refuse to remain objects. His wife, son and mistress leave him; his foreman and workers become increasingly indifferent to his stewardship; even the land rises up, as drought, then flood, destroy his farm.
As the upheaval in Mehring's world increasingly resembles that in the country as a whole, it becomes clear that only a seismic shift in ideas and concrete action can avert annihilation.