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Nadine Gordimer South Africa    PWF 2004

Nadine Gordimer


Gordimer was greatly influenced by her mother, Isidore, who was so affected by the poverty and discrimination she witnessed in South Africa that she founded a daycare for black children. Gordimer has spent most of her life as a political and human rights activist in South Africa, and much of her writing, both fiction and non-fiction, centers around issues of racism, discrimination, and inequality. Fearful that her daughter had a weak heart, Isidore frequently encouraged her to stay home, and thus Gordimer turned to writing at an early age as a means of alleviating her loneliness and boredom. She was first published at age fourteen, when one of her stories ran in the children’s section of a Johannesburg publication.

Gordimer moved to Johannesburg in 1948 and briefly attended Witwatersrand University, though she did not complete her degree.  The New Yorker published one of her stories in 1951, beginning a lifelong relationship with Gordimer. Her first full-length book, The Lying Days, was published in 1953. In 1954, Gordimer married her second husband, Reinhold Cassirer, and gave birth to their son in, Hugo, the following year. Gordimer has a daughter, Oriane, from her first marriage. Cassirer died from emphysema in 2001.

Gordimer was very active in South African politics during the1960’s and 70’s while still finding time to guest lecture at several universities in the United States. She also experienced censorship first hand during this time period, as several of her works were banned by the South African government, some for over a decade.

To date, Gordimer has published fifteen novels, including Burger’s Daughter and July’s People, and sixteen compilations of short stories. Her work has been translated into forty different languages and she has received numerous awards and distinctions. Her most recent work is Beethoven Was One-Sixteenth Black (2007). Gordimer still lives in South Africa.


The Lying Days. – London : Gollancz, 1953
A World of Strangers. – London : Gollancz, 1958
Occasion for Loving. – London : Gollancz, 1963
The Late Bourgeois World. – New York : Viking, 1966
A Guest of Honour. – London : Cape, 1971
The Conservationist. – London : Cape, 1974
Burger's Daughter. – London : Cape, 1979
July's People. – New York : Viking, 1981
A Sport of Nature. – London : Cape, 1987
My Son's Story. – London : Bloomsbury, 1990
None to Accompany Me. – London : Bloomsbury, 1994
The House Gun. – New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998
The Pickup. – London : Bloomsbury, 2001
Get a Life. – New York : Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2005

Short Stories
Face to Face. – Johannesburg : Silver Leaf Books, 1949
The Soft Voice of the Serpent and Other Stories. – New York, Simon and Schuster, 1952
Six Feet of the Country: Fifteen Short Stories. – New York, Simon and Schuster, 1956
Friday's Footprint. – London : Gollancz, 1960
Not for Publication: Fifteen Stories. – London : Gollancz, 1965
Livingstone's Companions. – London : Jonathan Cape, 1972.
Selected Stories. – London : Cape, 1975
Some Monday for Sure. – London : Heinemann Educational, 1976
A Soldier's Embrace. – London : Cape, 1980
Something Out There. – London : Cape, 1984
Reflections of South Africa. – Herning : Systime, 1986
Crimes of Conscience: Selected Short Stories. – London : Heinemann, 1991
Jump and Other Stories. – London : Bloomsbury, 1991
Why Haven't You Written : Selected Stories 1950-1972. – New York : Viking, 1993
Harald, Claudia, and Their Son Duncan. – London : Bloomsbury, 1996
Loot and Other Stories. – London : Bloomsbury, 2003

Other (selection)
The Black Interpreters: Notes on African Writing. – Johannesburg : Spro-Cas/Ravan, 1973
The Essential Gesture: Writing, Politics and Places / edited and introduced by Stephen Clingman. – London : Cape, 1988
Writing and Being. – Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard Univ. Press, 1995
Living in Hope and History: Notes from Our Century. – New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1999

Literature (selection)
Critical Essays on Nadine Gordimer/ edited by Rowland Smith. – Boston : Hall, 1990
The Later Fiction of Nadine Gordimer/ edited by Bruce King. – London : Macmillan, 1993
Ettin, Andrew Vogel, Betrayals of the Body Politic: the Literary Commitments of Nadine Gordimer. – 1993
Nadine Gordimer: a Bibliography of Primary and Secondary Sources, 1937-1992/ compiled by Dorothy Driver ... – 1994
Wagner, Kathrin, Rereading Nadine Gordimer: Text and Subtext in the Novels. – Bloomington : Indiana Univ. Press, 1994
A Writing Life: Celebrating Nadine Gordimer / edited by Andries Walter Oliphant. – London : Viking, 1998
Temple-Thurston, Barbara, Nadine Gordimer Revisited / Barbara Temple-Thurston. – New York : Twayne Publishers, 1999

Nadine Gordimer

Nadine Gordimer: Nobel Lecture


Writing and Being

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Nadine Gordimer

Nadine Gordimer: Loot

08.02.2008 Readings

Once upon our time, there was an earthquake: but this one is the most powerful ever recorded since the invention of the Richter scale made possible for us to measure apocalyptic warnings.

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