Nadine Gordimer Biography
Nadine Gordimer (b. 1923), the recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize for literature, was born in the small town of Springs, near Johannesburg, South Africa. Her mother was English, and her father, a Jewish watchmaker, emigrated to Africa from the Baltic states. Gordimer attended a convent school and studied at the University of Witwatersrand, getting what she has called "a scrappy and uninspiring minimal education." Growing up in South Africa, she never recognized herself in any of the English books she read until she encountered the stories of the New Zealand writer Katherine Mansfield. Then, Gordimer says, "I realized here was somebody who was writing about this other world, whose seasons at least I shared. Then I understood it was possible to be a writer even if you didn't live in England."
Gordimer began to write stories before she attempted a novel. She acknowledges three writers as her guides: D. H. Lawrence, who influenced her way of looking at the natural world; Henry James, who gave her a consciousness of form; and Ernest Hemingway, who taught her to hear what is essential in dialogue. Her early stories appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, and other American magazines and were first collected in Face to Face (1949) and The Soft Voice of the Serpent (1952). Since her first novel, The Lying Days, was published in 1953, she has continued to write novels and short fiction collections. Gordimer's recent works are The House Gun (1998), a novel, and Living in Hope and History (1998), a collection of speeches, political essays, and commentaries. "The Diamond Mine" was published in The New Yorker on May 10, 1999.
 
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