Six Feet of the Country is a short story collection by seasoned South African writer, Nadine Gordimer. Published by Penguin in 1982, it comprises her seven ‘best’ stories from previously published collections. Although her country’s racial segregation policy—which strongly underpins the collection—has since been abandoned, these stories are likely to serve as an epitaph of apartheid for many years to come. Told through a range of voices, they still have the power to shock and disturb.
Set in the early 1980s, the book portrays a country undergoing a revolution with the writer predicting what happens when the black majority overthrow their white rulers. Gordimer imagines a South Africa, where the blacks have revolted against the white minority, with help from neighboring African countries like Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Mozambique. Houses are set on fire, industries are burnt, and white South Africans are being killed in droves.
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 has gone on to enjoy a productive career, writing over 25 works…
This week, the winners of the 2010 Nobel Prize in various fields are being announced. Winners will walk away with a medal, personal diploma, and a cash award of approximately $1.5 million each. The awards founded by Alfred Nobel, a Swedish inventor and entrepreneur honor “men and women from all corners of the globe for outstanding achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and for work in peace.”
Over the years, Africa has had its fair share of award recipients, notably Nelson Mandela and Frederik Willem de Klerk who were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace prize in 2003.