Gordimer, Nadine

1923–2014
South African writer

Nadine Gordimer, a prizewinning author, has written extensively about life in SOUTH AFRICA under APARTHEID—a policy of racial segregation followed from 1948 to 1994. Born in a white family in South Africa, Gordimer left school at the age of 10 for medical reasons. She was educated at home and in her local library. By the time she was 14, she had written stories that were published in the Johannesburg Sunday Express.

Over the years Gordimer has published many collections of short stories, several books of essays, and ten novels, including The Conservationist (1974), Burger’s Daughter (1979), and July’s People (1981). She has been awarded numerous honors, including degrees from Harvard and Yale Universities. Her many literary prizes include the 1974 Booker Prize for The Conservationist and the 1991 Nobel Prize in literature.

Most of Gordimer’s short stories and novels focus on the details of the lives of individuals in South Africa. Her characters experience brutality, fear, and betrayal as a result of apartheid. Through their stories, Gordimer makes indirect but powerful political statements.

Gordimer, Nadine