What's on Maggie Gyllenhaal's Bookshelf?
By Nadine Gordimer
The background: The story explores what happens to a South African family when one member is treated with a radioactive medication. He can't go home to his wife and child; he should be quarantined, but his mother insists that she and his father take care of him.
Why she chose it: I love the way Gordimer writes. You have to read her sentences a couple of times—they're grammatically perfect but in the wildest ways.
What stuck with her: The theme that there will be consequences for everything. You can do whatever you want to the planet, to the world, to the people around you, to your husband, to your lover, but there will be consequences.