Never before has Gordimer, awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991, published such a comprehensive collection of her nonfiction. Telling Tales represents the full span of her works in that field-from the twilight of white rule in South Africa to the fight to overthrow the apartheid regime, and most recently, her role over the past seven years in confronting the contemporary phenomena of violence and the dangers of HIV. The range of this book is staggering, and the work in totality celebrates the lively perseverance of the life-loving individual in the face of political tumult, then the onslaught of a globalized world. The abiding passionate spirit that informs "A South African Childhood," a youthful autobiographical piece published in The New Yorker in 1954, can be found in each of the book's ninety-one pieces that span a period of fifty-five years. Returning to a lifetime of nonfiction work has become an extraordinary experience for Gordimer. She takes from one of her revered great writers, Albert Camus, the conviction that the writer is a "responsible human being" attuned not alone to dedication to the creation of fiction but to the political vortex that inevitably encompasses twentieth- and twenty-first-century life. Born in 1923, Gordimer, who as a child was ambitious to become a ballet dancer, was recognized at fifteen as a writing prodigy. Her sensibility was as much shaped by wide reading as it was to eye-opening sight, passing on her way to school the grim labor compounds where black gold miners lived. These twin decisives-literature and politics-infuse the book, which includes historic accounts of the political atmosphere, firsthand, after the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960 and the Soweto uprising of 1976, as well as incisive close-up portraits of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, among others. Gordimer revisits the eternally relevant legacies of Tolstoy, Proust, and Flaubert, and engages vigorously with contemporaries like Susan Sontag, Octavio Paz, and Edward Said. But some of her most sensuous writing comes in her travelogues, where the politics of Africa blend seamlessly with its awe-inspiring nature-including spectacular recollections of childhood holidays beside South Africa's coast of the Indian Ocean and a riveting account of her journey the length of the Congo River in the wake of Conrad. Gordimer's body of work is an extraordinary vision of the world that harks back to the sensibilities-political, moral, and social-of Dickens and Tolstoy, but with a decidedly vivid contemporary consciousness. Telling Times becomes both a literary exploration and extraordinary document of social and political history in our times.
Internationally celebrated for her novels, Nadine Gordimer has devoted much of her life and fiction to the political struggles of the Third World, the New World, and her native South Africa. is an on-the-spot record of her years as a public figure-an observer of apartheid and its aftermath, a member of the ANC, and the champion of dissident writers everywhere.
In a letter to fellow Nobel laureate Kenzaburo Oe, Nadine Gordimer describes as a "modest book of some of the nonfiction pieces I've written, a reflection of how I've looked at this century I've lived in." It is, in fact, an extraordinary collection of essays, articles, and addresses delivered over four decades, including her Nobel Prize Lecture of 1991.
With her characteristic brilliance, Nobel Prize winner Nadine Gordimer follows the inner lives of characters confronted by unforeseen circumstances. An earthquake offers tragedy and opportunity in the title story, exposing both an ocean bed strewn with treasure and the avarice of the town's survivors. Mission Statement is the story of a bureaucrat's idealism, the ghosts of colonial history, and a love affair with a government minister that ends astoundingly. And in Karma, Gordimer's inventiveness knows no bounds: in five returns to earthly life, a disembodied narrator, taking on different ages and genders, testifies to unfinished business and questions the nature of existence. Revelatory and powerful, these are stories that challenge our deepest convictions even as they dazzle us with their artful lyricism.
Always exploring the boundaries of race, identity, politics, memory, sexuality, and love with fearless insight and deep compassion, Nadine Gordimer has produced another masterpiece of short fiction. From a former anti-apartheid activist's search for his own racial identity by tracing his great-grandfather's part in South Africa's diamond industry to a parrot that scandalizes people with repetitions of their quarrels and clandestine love-talk, this new collection of stories eloquently probes how people are never free from their past nor spared from loss.
Set in South Africa, this is the story of Vera Stark, a lawyer and an independent mother of two, who works for the Legal Foundation representing blacks trying to reclaim land that was once theirs. As her country lurches towards majority rule, so she discovers a need to reconstruct her own life.
When Julie Summers' car breaks down in a sleazy street, a young Arab garage mechanic comes to her rescue. Out of this meeting develops a friendship that turns to love. But soon, despite his attempts to make the most of Julie's wealthy connections, Abdu is deported from South Africa and Julie insists on going too — but the couple must marry to make the relationship legitimate in the traditional village which is to be their home. Here, whilst Abdu is dedicated to escaping back to the life he has discovered, Julie finds herself slowly drawn in by the charm of her surroundings and new family, creating an unexpected gulf between them… ‘As gripping as a thriller and as felt as a love song' IRISH TIMES
James Bray, an English colonial administrator who was expelled from a central African nation for siding with its black nationalist leaders, is invited back ten years later to join in the country's independence celebrations. As he witnesses the factionalism and violence that erupt as revolutionary ideals are subverted by ambition and greed, Bray is once again forced to choose sides, a choice that becomes both his triumph and his undoing.
Liz Van Den Sandt's ex-husband, Max, an ineffectual rebel, has drowned himself. In prison for a failed act of violence against the government, he had betrayed his colleagues.
Now Liz has been asked to perform a direct service for the black nationalist movement, at considerable danger to herself. Can she take such a risk in the face of Max's example of the uselessness of such actions? Yet… how can she not?
Jessie and Tom Stilwell keep open house. Their code is one of people determined to maintain the integrity of personal relations against the distortions of law and society.
The impact on their home of Boaz Davis and his wife Ann, arrived from England, and Gideon Shibalo, the Stilwells' black friend, with whom Ann starts a love affair as her adventure with Africa, is dramatically concurrent with events involving Jessie's strange relationship with her mother and stepfather and her son from a previous marriage.
Telling their story against the background of South Africa in the sixties, Nadine Gordimer speaks with unsurpassed subtlety and poignancy of individuals and the society in which they live.
Nadine Gordimer's first novel, published in 1953, tells the story of Helen Shaw, daughter of white middle-class parents in a small gold-mining town in South Africa. As Helen comes of age, so does her awareness grow of the African life around her. Her involvement, as a bohemian student, with young blacks leads her into complex relationships of emotion and action in a culture of dissension.
Toby Hood, a young Englishman, shuns the politics and the causes his liberal parents passionately support. Living in Johannesburg as a representative of his family's publishing company, Toby moves easily, carelessly, between the complacent wealthy white suburbs and the seething, vibrantly alive black townships. His friends include a wide variety of people, from mining directors to black journalists and musicians, and Toby's colonial-style weekends are often interspersed with clandestine evenings spent in black shanty towns. Toby's friendship with Steven Sithole, a dashing, embittered young African, touches him in ways he never thought possible, and when Steven's own sense of independence from the rules of society leads to tragedy, Toby's life is changed forever.
A sharply observed new novel about post-apartheid South Africa from the Nobel Prize winner.
Nadine Gordimer is one of our most telling contemporary writers. With each new work, she attacks — with a clear-eyed fierceness, a lack of sentimentality, and a deep understanding of the darkest depths of the human soul — her eternal themes: the inextricable link between personal and communal history; the inescapable moral ambiguities of daily life; the political and racial tensions that persist in her homeland, South Africa. And in each new work is fresh evidence of her literary genius: in the sharpness of her psychological insights, the stark beauty of her language, the complexity of her characters, and the difficult choices with which they are faced.
In , Gordimer trains her keen eye on Steve and Jabulile, an interracial couple living in a newly, tentatively, free South Africa. They have a daughter, Sindiswa; they move to the suburbs; Steve becomes a lecturer at a university; Jabulile trains to become a lawyer; there is another child, a boy this time. There is nothing so extraordinary about their lives, and yet, in telling their story and the stories of their friends and families, Gordimer manages to capture the tortured, fragmented essence of a nation struggling to define itself post-apartheid.
The subject is contemporary, but Gordimer’s treatment is, as ever, timeless. In , she shows herself once again a master novelist, at the height of her prodigious powers.
A stunning selection of the best short fiction from the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
This collection of Nadine Gordimer’s short fiction demonstrates her rich use of language and her unsparing vision of politics, sexuality, and race. Whether writing about lovers, parents and children, or married couples, Gordimer maps out the terrain of human relationships with razor-sharp psychological insight and a stunning lack of sentimentality. The selection, which spans the course of Gordimer’s career to date, presents the range of her storytelling abilities and her brilliant insight into human nature. From such epics as “Friday’s Footprint” and “Something Out There” to her shorter, more experimental stories, Gordimer’s work is unfailingly nuanced and complex. Time and again, it forces us to examine how our stated intentions come into conflict with our unspoken desires.
This definitive volume, which includes four new stories from the Nobel laureate, is a testament to the power, force, and ongoing relevance of Gordimer’s vision.
In this collection of sixteen stories, Gordimer brings unforgettable characters from every corner of society to life: a child refugee fleeing civil war in Mozambique; a black activist's deserted wife longing for better times; a rich safari party indulging themselves while lionesses circle their lodge. is a vivid, disturbing and rewarding portrait of life in South Africa under apartheid.
Mehring is rich. He has all the privileges and possessions that South Africa has to offer, but his possessions refuse to remain objects. His wife, son, and mistress leave him; his foreman and workers become increasingly indifferent to his stewarsship; even the land rises up, as drought, then flood, destroy his farm.
A depiction of South Africa today, this novel is more revealing than a thousand news dispatches as it tells the story of a young woman cast in the role of a young revolutionary, trying to uphold a heritage handed on by martyred parents while carving out a sense of self.
Not all whites in South Africa are outright racists. Some, like Bam and Maureen Smales in Nadine Gordimer's thrilling and powerful novel , are sensitive to the plights of blacks during the apartheid state. So imagine their quandary when the blacks stage a full-scale revolution that sends the Smaleses scampering into isolation. The premise of the book is expertly crafted; it speaks much about the confusing state of affairs of South Africa and serves as the backbone for a terrific adventure.
Get a Life begins with Paul Bannerman, a South African ecologist, being treated for thyroid cancer with radioactive iodine. To spare his wife and child any peril from the radioactivity, he returns to his parents' home to recuperate. He's returned to his childhood state, being cared for by his mother, a civil rights lawyer, and the black housekeeper who's been with the family his whole life. Paul's wife, an advertising executive, realizes that her clients are facilitating the foreign corporations who want to take advantage of liberal land use laws for their own interests. Paul's illness forces them all the re-evaluate both their lives and the new challenges facing their country. Nadine Gordimer's has received mostly positive reviews with the Philadelphia Inquirer saying, "At first whiff, Get a Life feels an odd title for this novel. But as the action progresses, and Gordimer masterfully grinds her yarn to a quivering conclusion, no answers have been provided, and the moniker she has given this provocative book seems perfect."