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Springs 20 Nov. 1923 • South African prose writer in English
|Nadine Gordimer was born in 1923 in Springs, a small gold-mining town thirty miles from Johannesburg. Her parents were Jewish émigrés, her mother from England and her father from Latvia; he ran a jewelry store in town, where Gordimer attended an all-white convent school. Gordimer credits Upton Sinclair's 1906 novel The Jungle, about oppressed Chicago meatpackers, with opening her eyes to the plight of the black mine workers in Springs. Her focus, though, in life as well as work, has always been on the individual experience. In a 1991 interview in The New York Times, Gordimer describes being 'drawn into politics not through ideas but through friendships with many black people through the years. Little by little, I began to see what I was part of.'
Gordimer's first short story was published when she was fifteen. Her writing
| career took off when The New Yorker printed a story in 1946, her first collection appeared three years later. She has since published seven volumes of short stories and twelve novels, which have been translated into thirty languages. Gordimer has won some of the most prestigious literary awards in the world, culminating in the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991. She has been given honorary degrees from Yale, Harvard, and other universities and has been honored by the French government with the decoration Commandeur de l'Ordre des Artes et des Lettres. A vocal member of the long-outlawed African National Congress, she is also a founder of the predominantly black Congress of South African Writers. Nadine Gordimer has long been considered a preeminent interpreter of South Africa, and also its conscience.
|BOOKS BY NADINE GORDIMER:|
Mehring, a wealthy, dominating South African industrialist moves to preserve his way of life, his power, and his possessions in the face of massive injustice and suffering, changing times, and death.
|The House Gun|
The orderly life of a white, middle-aged, South-African couple changes for good when their son kills one of his housemates.
When Julie Summers' car breaks down in a sleazy street, a young Arab mechanic comes to her rescue. Out of this meeting develops a friendship that turns to love. Soon Abdu is deported from South Africa and Julie insists on going too - but the couple must marry to make the relationship legitimate.
|The Lying Days|
|Occasion for Loving|
The love affair between a black man and a white woman in a time when lovers could be imprisoned for breaking the law against sexual relations across the color bar.
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