With her characteristic brilliance, Nobel Prize winner Nadine Gordimer follows the inner lives of characters confronted by unforeseen circumstances. An earthquake offers tragedy and opportunity in the title story, exposing both an ocean bed strewn with treasure and the avarice of the town?s survivors. ?Mission Statement? is the story of a bureaucrat?s idealism, the ghosts of colonial history, and a love affair with a government minister that ends astoundingly. And in ?Karma,? Gordimer?s inventiveness knows no bounds: in five returns to earthly life, a disembodied narrator, taking on different ages and genders, testifies to unfinished business and questions the nature of existence. Revelatory and powerful, these are stories that challenge our deepest convictions even as they dazzle us with their artful lyricism.