Judith Newman Special Commissioned Essay on The Lying Days by Nadine Gordimer The Lying Days In History

The Lying Days In History

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

PUBLIC RESPONSE

In South Africa it is not easy to speak of “the public.” In a fractured society, and a society with such a poor literacy rate, public response to Gordimer's writing has often been that of either a hostile, white, pro-government majority or that of a small, educated, oppositional elite. Outside South Africa, however, the strength of the international response to her writing may be measured by the public's reaction when her German publishers reprinted her books, including The Lying Days. Lines of thousands stretched around the building to obtain copies. Because the novel is her first, published before the censorship laws began to bite in South Africa, it is also one of...

(The entire section is 2496 words.)