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Nadine Gordimer

Biography

Nadine Gordimer was born in Springs, near Johannesburg in 1923. Her father was a watchmaker, who had arrived from Lithuania when he was thirteen, and her mother was English. When she was diagnosed with a thyroid problem aged eleven, her mother took her out of school and home-schooled her. The reasons are not clear though Gordimer has suggested that her mother might have been having an affair with the doctor though it has also been suggested that her mother suspected that she had a heart ailment. As a result of her home-schooling and the fact that she did not have a high school diploma, she did not follow a formal university course, though she did take classes at the University of Witswatersrand. She started writing stories in her teens but had her first story published in the New Yorker in 1949, the same year of her first marriage. She had moved with her husband to Johannesburg and has lived there ever since. She was soon publishing books, firstly collections of stories and, later, novels.

She soon became very much involved in the anti-apartheid movement and was very critical of the South African government both publicly and in her writings. As a result, several of her works were banned by the government. She joined the African National Congress and hid some of its members in her house. Since the end of apartheid, she has been very much involved in the HIV/AIDS movement. She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991. Her work will be remembered for taking a strong stand against apartheid and censorship and questioning the role of whites in black politics and issues. Her skill as a writer is not just to rail against injustice but to show the deep-rooted issues behind it. She died in 2014.

Books about Nadine Gordimer

Ronald Suresh Roberts: No Cold Kitchen

Other links

Nadine Gordimer
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Nadine Gordimer
Nadine Gordimer (1923-)
Nadine Gordimer: a guide to her writing
Nadine Gordimer (from New York Times archive)
Author Nadine Gordimer attacked (story about physical assault on Gordimer)
Testament of the Word (article by Gordimer
“Berlin – Johannesburg” (speech by Gordimer)
The First Sense (story by Gordimer)
Interview
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Obituary
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Bibliography

1949 Face to Face (stories)
1952 The Soft Voice of the Serpent and Other Stories (stories)
1953 The Lying Days (novel)
1956 Six Feet of the Country (stories)
1958 A World of Strangers (novel)
1960 Friday’s Footprint and Other Stories (stories)
1963 Occasion for Loving (novel)
1965 Not for Publication and Other Stories (stories)
1966 The Late Bourgeois World (novel)
1970 A Guest of Honour (novel)
1971 Livingstone’s Companions (stories)
1972 African Literature: The Lectures Given on this Theme at the University of Cape Town’s Public Summer School, February, 1972
1973 The Black Interpreters: Notes on African Writing
1973 On the Mines
1974 The Conservationist (novel)
1975 Selected Stories
1976 Some Monday for Sure: Selected Short Stories (stories)
1979 Burger’s Daughter (novel)
1980 A Soldier’s Embrace (stories)
1980 What Happened To Burger’s Daughter Or How South African Censorship Works
1980 Town and Country Lovers (stories)
1981 July’s People (novel)
1984 Something Out There (stories)
1984 Correspondence Course and Other Stories (stories)
1986 Lifetimes Under Apartheid
1986 Reflections of South Africa (stories)
1987 A Sport of Nature (novel)
1988 The Moment Before the Gun Went Off (stories)
1988 The Essential Gesture: Writing, Politics and Places
1989 Once Upon a Time (stories)
1990 My Son’s Story (novel)
1991 Jump and Other Stories (stories)
1991 Three in a Bed: Fiction, Morals, and Politics
1991 Crimes of Conscience (stories)
1992 Something for the Time Being 1950-1972 (stories)
1993 Why Haven’t You Written?: Selected Stories, 1950-1972 (stories)
1993 Living in Hope and History: Notes from Our Century
1994 None to Accompany Me (novel)
1995 Writing and Being
1996 Harald, Claudia, and Their Son Duncan (later: The House Gun) (novel)
1999 Living in Hope and History: Notes from Our Century
2001 The Pickup (novel)
2003 Loot and Other Stories (stories)
2005 Get a Life (novel)
2007 Beethoven Was One-Sixteenth Black (stories)
2012 No Time Like the Present (novel)