Nadine Gordimer

Writer / Activist

Born: 20 November 1923
Birthplace: Springs, Transvaal, South Africa
Best known as: The Nobel-winning South African author who wrote July's People
Writer Nadine Gordimer won a Nobel prize for literature in 1991, after three decades of critically acclaimed stories and novels about love and politics in racially-torn South Africa. The daughter of immigrants (Russian and English), Gordimer started writing as a teenager, and her first collection of short stories, Face to Face, was published in 1949. Since then she's carved out a career as a writer of short stories, novels and critical essays, most of which revolve around the troubles of her home country, South Africa, and the racial tensions created by the racially-divisive policies of apartheid. Actively involved in fighting the white-dominated South African government beginning in the 1960s, she faced censorship from time to time in her home country, while collecting awards and kudos internationally. With the end of apartheid in the 1990s, she turned her activist leanings toward other social ills, notably the effect of AIDS on the people of Africa. She won a Booker Prize (1974) for her novel The Conservationist, and her other novels include A Guest of Honor (1971), July's People (1981) and The House Gun (1998).
Extra credit: Gordimer was the first South African to win the Nobel literature prize.

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