Gordimer, Nadine

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Gordimer, Nadine

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 militantly critical of South African life in many of her more than two dozen works of 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; taken together, they form a social history of South Africa during and after apartheid. 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 A World of Strangers (1958), 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).

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