October 4, 1991 |
Nadine Gordimer looks nothing like a radical, standing just 5-feet-1, with gray hair and a face gently wrinkled by 67 years in the African sun. But for four decades, this unassuming, strong-willed white woman has used her manual Hermes typewriter to give the world some of the most perceptive and uncompromising works of fiction ever written about her homeland, South Africa.
October 4, 1991 |
From the 1990 novel "My Son's Story," a passage describing the work of a white anti-apartheid activist who becomes involved romantically with a married black man: The nature of work she did develops high emotions. It arises from crises. It deals only with disruption, disjunction--circumstances in people's lives that cannot be met with the responses that serve for continuity.
November 8, 1990 |
The changes in her country have been "tremendous," and in some ways quite astonishing. "I began to feel I would never live to see the African National Congress unbanned," said Nadine Gordimer, the novelist who has been called the conscience of South Africa, on a recent visit here. "I thought I would never live to see (Nelson) Mandela and the other leaders out of prison."
October 28, 1990 |
The uprooting of a giant tree can cause a prodigious and painful disarrangement of the bits of life that have learned to live pressed down in the earth it stands upon. Even when it is a gallows tree. Nadine Gordimer's writing has been devoted to showing the deadly and deadening damage of apartheid in South Africa. In her gravely ironic new novel, apartheid has loosened and begun to teeter.
August 26, 1990 |
It has been 40 years since the white Parliament passed the infamous laws creating "grand apartheid." During that same year, the New Yorker published a short story by an unknown 26-year-old South African. That story launched a writing career that has reached a vast international reading audience, angered successive white South African governments and earned the author regular mention as a leading candidate for the Nobel Prize for Literature.
April 2, 1989 |
What does literature do? What is it for? These splendid essays, selected from 25 years' worth of sharp, firm responses to the particularly grotesque and challenging conditions for writers in South Africa, do nothing less than answer these huge questions. But they are not bombastic utterances. Nadine Gordimer is an unboastful, honest writer who dislikes cant.
April 19, 1987 |
Nadine Gordimer's career as a writer began about 35 years ago, with the publication of "The Soft Voice of the Serpent," a collection of her short stories. She now has to her credit eight collections of stories and eight novels. Some of her work has been banned in her native South Africa. All of her work has been acclaimed and honored throughout the world.
December 7, 1986 |
This interview was conducted when Nadine Gordimer visited New York City earlier this year for the annual conference of PEN, the international writers' organization of which she is a vice president. "Right from the beginning," South African writer Nadine Gordimer said, "I used my own background. Everything that I wrote was related to what I knew."