Special Commissioned Entry on Nadine Gordimer Judith Newman
South African novelist, short story writer, critic, and editor.
The following special entry, written by noted scholar and author Judith Newman of the University of Nottingham, presents an overview of Gordimer's life and works. See also, Nadine Gordimer Criticism and volumes 5, 7, 10, 17, 18, 80 and 123.
Gordimer is a well-known and acclaimed writer who explores the social effects of South Africa's apartheid system and the consequences of its demise. Although political themes are central to her work, Gordimer focuses on the personal aspect of political turmoil. As a caucasian living in South Africa, Gordimer occupies a difficult position in relation to the country's racial institutions. Despite being vehemently opposed to racism, Gordimer did benefit from racist institutions with a privileged place in South African society. Many believe that this explains why Gordimer's storytelling talent was not acknowledged by the Nobel Committee until the dismantling of the apartheid system began.