With these two very different lifestyles one another very rarely interacted in the earlier years in which the two stories take place. These writings tend to focus on issues of racism, inner struggles, slavery, prejudice, and the pursuit of freedom as well as equality. Two renowned contributors to this field of literature are Nadine Gordimer and Patricia Smith. Sign Up. Sign In. Sign Up Sign In. Oriana rated it liked it Mar 31, Deyan rated it really liked it May 20, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
Readers also enjoyed. Short Stories. About Nadine Gordimer. Nadine Gordimer. She was recognized as a woman "who through her magnificent epic writing has — in the words of Alfred Nobel — been of very great benefit to humanity". Gordimer's writing dealt with moral and racial issues, particularly apartheid in South Africa. Under that regime, works such as Burger Nadine Gordimer was a South African writer, political activist, and recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Under that regime, works such as Burger's Daughter and July's People were banned.
She was active in the anti-apartheid movement, joining the African National Congress during the days when the organization was banned. Books by Nadine Gordimer. Mexican Gothic begins when happily ever after turns into a nightmare. The story unfolds with the Taboada family receiving a mysterious letter from Read more Trivia About Country Lovers.
No trivia or quizzes yet. Welcome back. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Written in the aftermath of the Soweto uprising , the novel was shortly thereafter banned by the South African government. Gordimer described the novel as a "coded homage" to Bram Fischer , the lawyer who defended Nelson Mandela and other anti-apartheid activists.
In July's People , she imagines a bloody South African revolution, in which white people are hunted and murdered after blacks revolt against the apartheid government. The work follows Maureen and Bamford Smales, an educated white couple, hiding for their lives with July, their long-time former servant. The novel plays off the various groups of "July's people": his family and his village, as well as the Smales. The story examines how people cope with the terrible choices forced on them by violence, race hatred, and the state.
The House Gun was Gordimer's second post-apartheid novel. It follows the story of a couple, Claudia and Harald Lingard, dealing with their son Duncan's murder of one of his housemates. The novel treats the rising crime rate in South Africa and the guns that virtually all households have, as well as the legacy of South African apartheid and the couple's concerns about their son's lawyer, who is black.
The novel was optioned for film rights to Granada Productions. Gordimer's award-winning novel, The Pickup , considers the issues of displacement, alienation, and immigration; class and economic power; religious faith; and the ability for people to see, and love, across these divides.
It tells the story of a couple: Julie Summers, a white woman from a financially secure family, and Abdu, an illegal Arab immigrant in South Africa. After Abdu's visa is refused, the couple returns to his homeland, where she is the alien. Her experiences and growth as an alien in another culture form the heart of the work. Get a Life , written in after the death of her long-time spouse, Reinhold Cassirer, is the story of a man undergoing treatment for a life-threatening disease.
While clearly drawn from personal life experiences, the novel also continues Gordimer's exploration of political themes. The protagonist is an ecologist, battling installation of a planned nuclear plant. But he is at the same time undergoing radiation therapy for his cancer, causing him personal grief and, ironically, rendering him a nuclear health hazard in his own home.
Here, Gordimer again pursues the questions of how to integrate everyday life and political activism. Ramakrishnan, who noted a similarity with author Mia Alvar , wrote that Gordimer wrote about "long-suffering spouses and the familial enablers of political men" in her fiction. On November 20, , Google celebrated her 92nd birthday with a Google Doodle. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. South African writer. Verwoerd B. Vorster Jacob Zuma. Related topics. This list is incomplete ; you can help by expanding it.
Retrieved 7 October Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia. Nadine Gordimer's 'Burger's daughter': A Casebook. New York: Oxford University Press.
She believed for many years that he was Lithuanian like many South African Jewish immigrants and only discovered later in life that he was Latvian. Conversations with Nadine Gordimer. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi. Second daughter of Isidore Gordimer, Jewish watchmaker and jeweler who had emigrated from Latvia at age 13, and Nan Myers Gordimer, a native of England.
Retrieved 16 August Beit Hatfutsot. American Academy of Achievement. Washington Post. Unlike the virtually anonymous adult geologist whose only tie to the country is his work, Eysendyck was born in South Africa and lives in a web of immediate family and social relationships that shape his responses.
The story of Eysendyck and Thebedi is the story of South African socialization itself. The only physical description of Eysendyck comes early in the story when readers are told that he was six feet tall at fifteen. None of these details, however, allow readers to establish a clear picture of what she looks like, but they do help to form the impression of the love that Thebedi had for Eysendyck.
A narrator with this point of view is separate from either character but has access to the minds and feelings of both. Her descriptions, then, are often a blend of what both characters see and feel. There was on its head a quantity of straight, fine floss, like that which carries the seeds of certain weeds in the veld.
The unfocused eyes it opened were grey flecked with yellow. This retraction, of course, is aided by the fact that Thebedi has a new baby with her husband. Whether her characters live in the country or city; whether they are white, colored, or black; whether they are professional, working class, or aristocrats, Gordimer shows how their lives have been unalterably shaped by the irrational and unjust policies of segregation. Although Nadine Gordimer has in recent years written and published more novels than collections of short stories, the range and sequence of the short stories offer some revealing glimpses of her understanding of what living in South Africa has entailed.
It is certainly true that in her novels a fuller and more comprehensive moral vision is presented. You as voyeur have the option of leaving the vision in its fragmented completeness, or else of completing the story yourself in your mind. In this study I intend looking only at those stories whose primary thematic focus is race. This is one of the main themes developed by Gordimer in her short stories.
She herself has made this point explicitly. There is no country in the Western world. I do not intend to repeat his conclusions—moreover the short stories differ from the novels in being much less comprehensive in their scope, and in some cases being less refined, or taking up more extreme positions than the novels. Several introductory points need to be made. Gordimer has always been an astute observer of all around her. Her fiction abounds with the most minutely observed detail—in fact at times this piling up of detail has been criticised for obscuring what the particular critic regarded as the basic slightness of what she was saying.
However, most critics have agreed that her insights have been as finely perceptive as her observations. The earliest studies of Gordimer placed her within the liberal tradition of fiction, which had been regarded as the dominant tradition in White South African literature.
Contemporary criticism regards that tradition now as obsolete and irrelevant. Certainly liberalism as a political ideology has passed out of relevance for post-Sharpeville and Soweto South Africa. Liberalism thus favoured realism as a mode whereby the perception of reality was able to be treated largely as non-problematic. Her first three collections were published during the s, and they cover her writing from the early forties to Of the forty-nine stories, thirteen deal primarily with race.
Historically this period saw the beginnings of the apartheid regime, the systematising of the various racist laws already on the statute book and the introduction of many others into an ideology designed to ensure White domination in economic, political, social and cultural affairs.
These early stories reveal some of the ideological features of liberal aesthetics. They concern themselves largely with individuals within specifically individual contexts. However, the position is not held simplistically. Gordimer is regularly critical of those Whites holding so-called liberal views. The same lack of consistency is revealed in other stories as well.
These are snatches yet, like scenes perceived from the suburban train window, fragments within a greater whole. That greater whole in this case can be realised in the world that Gordimer reproduces in her novels, and the novels reveal the nature and extent of the failure of liberalism; its inadequacy in the face of the historical developments, and its inability to act satisfactorily as a means of perceiving the South African reality.
Robert Green, commenting on A world of strangers, has written:. There are two stories with overtly political references. The latter story deals with the Civil Disobedience Campaign, and so the story is rooted in historical time at that point.
The attitudes of Whites and Blacks in the story reflect on the political and social attitudes held at the time. The decline for Gordimer of liberalism as a viable aesthetic is reflected also in the narrative techniques she employs. The early stories have a strong authorial presence.
This occurs through a number of authorial comments; through the prominence given to the conclusion, which is often a comment or a reflection by the narrator on the action which illuminates or reinforces the central revelation of the story. Generally a distance is maintained between narrator and the narrated events. Little attempt to explore the interiors of the characters is made, and psycho-narration i e the narrator reporting what the character is thinking without attempting to convey the immediacy or particularity of the character is prominent.
However, this mode of presentation, with its fixedness, its presentation of reality as non-problematic, becomes unsatisfactory when what essentially has to be conveyed is the way reality is perceived by sentient beings. A story that does not in some way deal with the way reality is perceived says nothing about the reality dealt with. When the perception of reality is seen to be as problematic as ascertaining what the reality itself is, then it becomes necessary to alter the means of presenting the story, to reduce the authorial presence, and to allow for another less dominating mode.
This aesthetic and ideological shift, and the technical adaptation are mutually interactive. In terms of the fiction, presenting such perception of reality requires venturing into the consciousness of the characters involved.
This can be achieved in a number of ways— first person narration, interior monologues the stream of consciousness technique or in snatches during third person narration where the point of narration moves from authorial to figural from the narrator to one of the characters within the action. More and more she starts using devices that allow her to enter the consciousness of the characters so that their inner processes can be presented as they are.
By the end of the story, we judge Pat to be primarily responsible for the inadequate relationship. The reason why this is so comes across in the different methods by which Gordimer presents the consciousness of each woman. We do not see the workings of her inner consciousness for ourselves. And so, we judge her on her actions, which are exemplary, even if she as a person is not very sympathetic towards Pat.
Pat, on the other hand, is treated differently, and we are shown the workings of her consciousness, in an extended fashion, at least twice. The result is that we see her revealing herself as a spoilt, self-indulgent woman, unwilling to love, but wanting to be loved.
Similar devices are used in the stories to show the internalisation of the outwardly imposed restraints of the apartheid regime. Whatever barriers exist between Black and White are seen in their outward form the legislation , but also in their inner manifestations. Significantly at this stage, Gordimer had not yet explored a Black consciousness in any depth. Her treatment of Blacks is distant and indirect—her view primarily concerned with Whites and their inadequacies. However, with the intensification of the opposition to the regime from Africa, as the continent lurched into independence; after the horrific impact of Sharpeville and the beginnings of the South African revolution, and its complete failure in the face of the massive state response, the intensification of the apartheid regime gave the question of race an urgency and importance that dwarfed other considerations.
It was racism that had produced the traumatic events of to , therefore opposition to racism required a more concerted attempt to bridge the gap.
The subject matter of the stories also changes, and becomes more specifically topical. Stories deal with passbook burning, ANC sabotage and exile, the 4am arrest. Allied to this shift is the shift in the ideological perspective.
Instead of individual encounters being concerned primarily with individuals, now the encounters explore also the constraints imposed on individuals in a more general sense. The pet is a bulldog, and between the dog and the Nyasa a muted hostility develops. The dog never does develop into the watchdog he was intended to become— he is altogether too docile and yielding.
The story ends with the dull realisation by the Nyasa of the exactness of the parallel between them, and there emerges a faint sympathy within him for the dog. The story is not primarily concerned with the Nyasa, but the constraints and determining factors that operate on him. From this point onwards, Gordimer seems to have turned to novels in order to express herself—since that time , she has had five novels published and only two collections of short stories. It is almost as if nothing more at that time could be said about South Africa.
The stories that do deal with racial attitudes in a South African context have a complex texture of irony to them. This story, based in part on the exile and death-in-exile of Nat Nakasa, deals with loyalty and betrayal. The unnamed central character is suspected of being a police spy, but he gains credibility at the end when he is arrested and held in solitary confinement.
They present intense moments, and refer to central features of the South African syndrome, but the major statements are being made in the novels.
Both stories deal with relationships of people of different race and class. The Immorality Act—the legal restraint—is the consequence of the application of the ideology of racial purity in law.
Loving becomes a crime, if it is between people of different races. What each story presents is a classic case of alienation. The tone is flat, unemotional almost as in a police dossier , which betrays the intensity of the emotional context. The relationship in each story is an unequal one, yet there seems to be a genuine personal involvement of each with the other. For the town lover, the raid—imposition of this alien and violating intrusion into their privacy—abruptly terminates the relationship.
Dr von Leinsdorf s comment betrays the girl. They are all suffering from their alienation from their own humanity. Rosa returns to South Africa to play a secondary, supportive role—but this is the destiny of Whites now.
Taking a wide view of the stories on the racial theme, they can be seen as forming fragments within a whole. They are responsive to the historical developments, and they reflect the ideological shifts which are more readily apparent in the novels.
Eckstein, Barbara J. Through analysis and interviews with Gordimer, Ettin provides an overview of the themes in her novels and short stories.
He considers such topics as betrayal, family, homeland, and ethnicity.Town and Country Lovers Homework Help Questions. Describe the theme of Nadine Gordimer's "Town and County Lovers" The two themes of Nadine Gordimer's "Town and Country Lovers" intertwine.