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The Conservationist Gordimer was joint winner of the Booker prize for this novel, which exposes the delusions of apartheid through the character of Mehring, a rich white businessman turned dilettante farmer, who is confronted with an unidentified corpse on his land. Mehring's certainty that he always does "the right thing" is undermined by a narrative that constantly undercuts his smug conservatism. Considering the novel as a contender for the Best of Booker prize, Sam Jordison wrote : "The intensity of this writing requires serious concentration, especially when coupled with an impressionistic narrative that skips backwards and forwards over time and situates us right inside Mehring's head — an increasingly unpleasant place to be. It's hard work — but is correspondingly effective. Burger's Daughter Ranked by one critic as one of the "few truly great political novels ever written", this book was described by Gordimer as a "coded homage" to the Afrikaner lawyer Bram Fischer, who defended Nelson Mandela and other anti-apartheid activists.
South Africa has produced several writers of stature in the past half century, but few have approached the achievement of Nadine Gordimer , who has died aged A significant figure in world literature, Gordimer plumbed the depths of human interaction in a society of racial tension, political oppression and sexual unease. The connection between the intimate and the public lay at the heart of her work, an apparently inexhaustible stream of novels, short stories and essays. An outspoken voice against the evils of apartheid, Gordimer continued to express forthright views after its collapse and the emergence of a multiracial democracy. Promoting even as she questioned white liberal values in her early work, she went on to espouse an increasingly radical position in the essays and fiction of the mids and later, openly supporting the liberation movement and associated cultural bodies such as the Congress of South African Writers.
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'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, and gave Nelson Mandela advice on his famous defence speech at the trial which led to his conviction for life. Gordimer's early interest in racial and economic inequality in South Africa was shaped in part by her parents. Her father's experience as a refugee from tsarist Russia helped form Gordimer's political identity, but he was neither an activist nor particularly sympathetic toward the experiences of black people under apartheid.
From her early childhood, Gordimer witnessed how the White minority increasingly weakened the few rights of the Black majority. Gordimer was educated at a convent school and began writing at the young age of nine; her first short story was published when she was fifteen in the liberal Johannesburg magazine, Forum. She later spent a year at Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg without receiving a degree. In , she moved to Johannesburg where she lived most of her life. Gordimer has been awarded 10 honorary doctorates in literature from various universities around the world. Gordimer wrote about her childhood in Springs, then a mining town on the East Rand outside Johannesburg, only relatively late in her life.