Nadine Gordimer

Nadine Gordimer (nādēn´ gôr´dəmər), 1923–2014, South African writer, b. Springs. A member of the African National Congress, Gordimer fought apartheid in her political life and in her writings, which often combine the political and personal. She was often militantly critical of South African life in her fiction, and tendered little moral hope for whites who lived under apartheid. In 1991 she won the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Gordimer published her first short story at age 15 and later many of her stories appeared in the New Yorker magazine. Her stories show a fine sensitivity to the complexities of human relationships. Her collections include Selected Stories (1975), A Soldier's Embrace (1980), Jump and Other Stories (1991), Why Haven't You Written? Selected Stories 1950–1972 (1993), Loot and Other Stories (2003), Beethoven Was One-Sixteenth Black and Other Stories (2007), and Life Times: Stories, 1952–2007 (2010). Her novels include The Late Bourgeois World (1966), A Guest of Honor (1970), The Conservationist (1974, Booker Prize), Burger's Daughter (1979), July's People (1981), A Sport of Nature (1987), My Son's Story (1990), Get a Life (2005), and No Time like the Present (2012). Gordimer also wrote many essays, often political or literary; they were collected in The Essential Gesture (1988), Writing and Being (1995), Living in Hope and History (1999), Telling Times: Writing and Living, 1954–2008 (2010), and other books.

See N. T. Bazin and M. D. Seymour, ed., Conversations with Nadine Gordimer (1990); biography by R. S. Roberts (2005); studies by J. Cooke (1985), S. Clingman (1986), R. Smith, ed. (1990), K. Kreimeier (1991), B. King, ed. (1993), D. Head (1995), K. Wagner (1994), J. Uraizee (1999), B. Temple-Thurston (1999), and B. J. Uledi Kamanga (2002); D. Goldblatt, ed. A Writing Life: Celebrating Nadine Gordimer (1998).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

African Visions: Literary Images, Political Change, and Social Struggle in Contemporary Africa
Cheryl B. Mwaria; Silvia Federici; Joseph McLaren.
Praeger Publishers, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 12 "White Women, Black Revolutionaries: Sex and Politics in Four Novels by Nadine Gordimer"
Atrocity and Amnesia: The Political Novel since 1945
Robert Boyers.
Oxford University Press, 1987
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 7 "Nadine Gordimer: Public and Private"
Manichean Aesthetics: The Politics of Literature in Colonial Africa
Abdul R. Janmohamed.
University of Massachusetts Press, 1983
Librarian’s tip: "Nadine Gordimer: The Degeneration of the Great South African Lie" begins on p. 79
Southern African Literatures
Michael Chapman.
Longman, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Part Five, Chap. 4 "The Truth of Fiction and the Fiction of Truth: Writing Novels in the Interregnum: Gordimer, Coetzee, and Soweto Novels"
The Language of Fiction in a World of Pain: Reading Politics as Paradox
Barbara J. Eckstein.
University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990
Librarian’s tip: "Everything, Nothing, and This Here Now: The Short Fiction of Nadine Gordimer" begins on p. 119
Against the Tide: Whites in the Struggle against Apartheid
Joshua N. Lazerson.
Westview Press, 1994
Librarian’s tip: "Nadine Gordimer's A World of Strangers" begins on p. 141
Evolving Jewish Identities in German Culture: Borders and Crossings
Linda E. Feldman; Diana Orendi.
Praeger Publishers, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "'A Frosty Hall of Mirrors': Father Knows Best in Franz Kafka and Nadine Gordimer"
A Reader's Companion to the Short Story in English
Erin Fallon; R. C. Feddersen; James Kurtzleben; Maurice A. Lee; Susan Rochette-Crawley.
Greenwood Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: "Nadine Gordimer (November 20, 1923-)" begins on p. 182
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