Nadine Gordimer eBooks
"Learning to write sent me falling, falling through the surface of 'the South African way of life'."
Nadine Gordimer (born 20 November 1923) is a South African writer, political activist and recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature, when she was recognised as a woman "who through her magnificent epic writing has – in the words of Alfred Nobel – been of very great benefit to humanity".
Gordimer's writing has long dealt with moral and racial issues, particularly apartheid in South Africa. Under that regime, works such as July's People were banned. She was active in the anti-apartheid movement, joining the African National Congress during the days when the organization was banned. She has recently been active in HIV/AIDS causes.
Gordimer was educated at a Catholic convent school, but was largely home-bound as a child because her mother, for "strange reasons of her own," did not put her into school (apparently, she feared that Gordimer had a weak heart). Home-bound and often isolated, she began writing at an early age, and published her first stories in 1937 at the age of fifteen. Her first published work was a short story for children, "The Quest for Seen Gold," which appeared in the Children's Sunday Express in 1937; "Come Again Tomorrow," another children's story, appeared in Forum around the same time. At the age of 16, she had her first adult fiction published.
Gordimer's first novel, The Lying Days, was published in 1953. In 1954, she married Reinhold Cassirer, a highly respected art dealer who established the South African Sotheby's and later ran his own gallery; their "wonderful marriage" lasted until his death from emphysema in 2001. It was her second marriage and his third. Their son, Hugo, was born in 1955, and is today a filmmaker in New York, with whom Gordimer has collaborated on at least two documentaries. Hugo Cassirer later married Sarah Buttrick, and had three children: Kate, Roland, and Conrad. Gordimer also has a daughter, Oriane (born 1950), by her first marriage.