Nadine Gordimer Biography

Nadine Gordimer Biography

Nadine Gordimer has been accused of fabricating parts of her life in order to sell books. Gordimer’s biographer, Ronald Suresh Roberts, claims that Gordimer’s essay “A South African Childhood” was not entirely autobiographical, as it claimed to be. Nonetheless, Gordimer is renowned as an author and a major contributor to the anti-apartheid movement. Gordimer did grow up in South Africa and had many experiences that led to her eventual move to Johannesburg to write and work against apartheid. Many of her books were banned in South Africa, including The Late Bourgeois World, which is about her own experiences with government censorship. Gordimer won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991 and continues to write and involve herself in political causes.

Facts and Trivia

  • Gordimer was born in a mining town outside of Johannesburg. Her father was a Jewish watchmaker who had immigrated from what is now Lithuania. Her mother was English.
  • Nadine Gordimer’s best friend, Bettie du Toit, was arrested in 1960. This was the catalyst for Gordimer to become so involved in anti-apartheid.
  • Gordimer wrote for the New Yorker for many years.
  • Gordimer had a falling out with her biographer, Ronald Suresh Roberts, because of his depiction of her husband’s illness and death as well as his criticism of some of her political views.
  • Gordimer began writing as a child because her mother often kept her home due to “strange reasons of her own.”
  • She became close friends with Nelson Mandela and was one of the people he asked to see shortly after his 1990 release from prison.
  • Gordimer testified at the 1986 Delmas treason trial and calls it the proudest day of her life.
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