SA writer, Nadine Gordimer, wins Nobel Prize for Literature

Nadine Gordimer pictured with cat, 1981 Image source

Saturday, 7 December 1991

South African writer Nadine Gordimer won the 1991 Nobel Prize for Literature. She was the first woman in 25 years to be awarded the honour and the seventh woman laureate in the near-century history of the Nobel Prize.

Gordimer is the author of ten novels and more than 200 short stories; her work over the past forty years has insistently and increasingly focused upon the legacies and moral consequences of apartheid. Heralded as well as banned in her native country, Gordimer has consistently refused to leave South Africa. By addressing its political and racial turmoil in her fiction, she has chosen a spiritual exile over an actual one. In announcing its selection to the press, the Academy praised Gordimer for her magnificent epic writing, her compassion and her outstanding literary style.

• nobelprize,Nadine Gordimer's biography from the Nobel Prize's official website [online], available at:, [accessed 27 September 2013]
•  africanhistory,This week in African History, 03 October [online], available at: ,[accessed 27 September 2013]
• contemporarywriters,Nadine Gordimer, a biography [online], available at:,[accessed 27 September 2013]

Last updated : 07-Dec-2017

This article was produced by South African History Online on 16-Mar-2011

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