Nadine Gordimer

Literary Birthday – 20 November – Nadine Gordimer

Nadine Gordimer was born 20 November 1923, and died 13 July 2014.

Nadine Gordimer: Five Quotes on Writing

  1. Writing is making sense of life. You work your whole life and perhaps you’ve made sense of one small area.
  2. Perhaps there is no other way of reaching some understanding of being than through art? Writers themselves don’t analyse what they do; to analyse would be to look down while crossing a canyon on a tightrope.
  3. What is the purpose of writing? For me personally, it is really to explain the mystery of life, and the mystery of life includes, of course, the personal, the political, the forces that make us what we are while there’s another force from inside battling to make us something else.
  4. Nothing factual that I write or say will be as truthful as my fiction.
  5. If you’re a writer, you can make the death of a canary stand for the whole mystery of death. That’s the challenge.

Nadine Gordimer was a South African writer, political activist, and recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature. Gordimer’s writing dealt with moral and racial issues, particularly apartheid in South Africa. Her works include July’s People and The Conservationist.

Source for image

Boberger. Photo: Bengt Oberger, CC BY 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 20th November 2012