Born in 1923, Nadine Gordimer is one of Africa’s most recognized writers.
Gordimer has been honoured for her work by various countries including South Africa, France, Chile, and Cuba. She holds honorary degrees from several universities including Cape Town, Witwatersrand, Yale, Cambridge, Harvard and Columbia.
As well as being an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Academy & Institute of Arts and Letters, Gordimer has previously served as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, she received the Society’s Benson Medal in 2007 in recognition of her lifetime contribution to English literature.
Gordimer published her first story at the age of thirteen. In 1951, her short story “A Watcher of the Dead” was accepted by the New Yorker, opening her work to an international audience. Her first novel, “The Lying Days” came out in 1953, and she went on to enjoy a productive career, writing over 25 works that include documentaries, short stories and novels. Many of her books and short stories have gone on to become international best sellers. Her short story collections include A Soldier’s Embrace (1980); Something Out There (1984); and Jump and Other Stories (1991); Beethoven Was One-Sixteenth Black (2007).
Partly due to Gordimer’s role as an anti-apartheid activist, much of her writing has focused on apartheid and its impact on the lives of South Africans, particularly the racial tensions it engendered in South African society. Her latter books tend to explore wider themes, for instance, her 2001 novel, The Pickup, focuses on the tragedy of forced emigration.
A number of her books have received international recognition including The Conservationist, which won the 1974 Booker Prize and A Guest of Honor, which won the 1971 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction.
In 1991, Gordimer was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Selected Books by Nadine Gordimer
A Guest of Honour (1971)
The Conservationist (1974)
Burger’s Daughter (1979)
July’s People (1981)
A Sport of Nature (1987)
The Pick Up (2001)
Get a Life (2005)
The Essential Gesture: Writing, Politics and Places (1988)
The Black Interpreters: Notes on African Writing (1973)