Nadine Gordimer, winner of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature, passed away yesterday at the age of 90. Below are a few excerpts from interviews that she gave on literature, politics, and her own complicity in South Africa’s racism. There are also two clips from Gordimer’s readings at the 92nd Street Y and Harvard.
The daughter of Jewish immigrants, she published her first short story, “Come Again Tomorrow,” when she was 15. At 21, Gordimer briefly attended Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg where she was exposed to the social and political atmosphere of South Africa, which would become the focus of her works. Gordimer’s short stories have been published in various magazines such as the The New Yorker, Harper’s, and The Yale Review.
She was awarded the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature when she was recognised as a woman “who through her magnificent epic writing has — in the words of Alfred Nobel — been of very great benefit to humanity”.
Interview presented by the Nobel Prize in 2005:
An interview with the BBC’s HARDtalk:
Gordimer reading from her short story, “Loot,” at Harvard in 2005:
Gordimer reads two short stories at the 92nd Street Y in April 1961:
Via The New Republic