Nadine Gordimer

The award to Nadine Gordimer of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991 was an affirmation of her distinctive contribution to twentieth-century fiction and to the creation of a literature that challenges apartheid. In this study, which may be used as an introduction as well as by those already familiar with Gordimer’s work, Dominic Head discusses each of her novels in detail, paying close attention to the texts both as a reflection of events and situations in the real world, and as evidence of her constant rethinking of her craft. Head shows how Gordimer’s concerns, apparent in her earliest novels, are developed through increasing stress on the politics of textuality; and he pursues the implications of this development to consider how Gordimer’s later work contributes to postmodernist fiction, and to a recentering of political engagement in an era of uncertainty.

• Invaluable and comprehensive introduction to the work of recent Nobel Laureate • First full-length study of Gordimer to concentrate on text as much as content • Second title in Cambridge’s unique Studies in African and Caribbean Literature


1. Gordimer and South Africa: themes, issues and literary identity; 2. The early novels: The Lying Days, A World of Strangers, and Occasion for Loving; 3. Developing narrative muscle: The Late Bourgeois World, A Guest of Honour, and The Conservationist; 4. The construction of identity: Burger’s Daughter and July’s People; 5. Self-reflexive reassessments: A Sport of Nature and My Son’s Story; 6. The short stories; 7. Gordimer as postmodernist?