Nadine Gordimer

Dominic Head (University of Nottingham)
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The South African novelist and short-story writer Nadine Gordimer is her country's most famous literary figure. Her international reputation is that of a consistent critic of apartheid, with a political outlook that becomes increasingly radical through the apartheid era. Yet as a white South African her position is fraught with tension, since she is located, to some extent, within the power group she sets out to condemn. However, despite this sense of unwanted complicity, Gordimer has refused to exile herself from the country she considers her home, and this has enabled her to produce a sustained literary chronicle of South Africa through the entire apartheid period and beyond, often focusing on the evolving nature of white guilt and complicity, and the need for political commitment.

1699 words

Citation: Head, Dominic. "Nadine Gordimer". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 October 2000 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=1809, accessed 21 June 2024.]

1809 Nadine Gordimer 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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