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Lilly Library
Indiana University
Bloomington, Indiana

Nadine Gordimer was born in Springs, South Africa in 1923. At age 13 she began her writing career and was first published in the children's section of the Johannesburg Sunday Express in 1937. Since then she has written a number of novels. Excerpts of these, in addition to her countless short stories and articles, have appeared in magazines and newspapers worldwide. Many of her works reflect the political and social dilemmas of living under apartheid in South Africa and consequently, several of her books were banned in that country.

Among her numerous awards are the Booker Prize for Fiction (1974), Modern Language Association of America award (1982), and the Premio Malaparte prize (1987). In 1991 Gordimer's entire body of work was honored with the Nobel Prize in Literature. She was a four-time winner of the CNA Award sponsored by the Central News Agency, a book/stationery company in South Africa. She has been decorated Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France) and has received honorary degrees from such institutions as Harvard and Yale universities.

Apart from her many achievements in writing, Gordimer has been visiting professor and lecturer at several American universities. She is a founder and executive member of the Congress of South African Writers and has encouraged and supported new writers, especially young African authors and poets.

The Gordimer collection contains approximately 6,700 items covering the years 1934 to 2001 and consists of correspondence, short stories, novels, articles, lectures and speeches, a childhood diary, notebooks and research materials. Also included are scripts, many adapted from Gordimer's short stories and novels. There is extensive correspondence with her colleagues, literary agents and publishers, including magazines such as The New Yorker where many of her short stories and articles first appeared.


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Last updated: 17 December 2014

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