An Analysis of Country Lovers by Nadine Gordimer

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Country Lovers by Nadine Gordimer

Nadine Gordimer is a South African novelist and political activist.She was born in November 20,1923 in a small mining town called Springs in South Africa to Isidore and Nan Gordimer.Her parents were both Jewish immigrants and from an early age she questioned her identity as a member of the minority white population in South Africa.She attended a Catholic Convent School but due to her mother’s ‘unusual’ assuptions that she was too weak to school,she did not attend school regularly.She started writing at an early age and published her first stories in 1937 at the age of fifteen. Gordimer studied for a year at the University of the Witwatersrand, but she did not complete her degree, and moved to Johannesburg in 1948, where she has lived ever since. The arrest of her best friend encouraged Gordimer's entry into the anti-apartheid movement. She became active in South African politics, and was close friends with Nelson Mandela. In 1954, she married Reinhold Cassirer, a well known art dealer and they remained married until Cassirer’s death in 2001.Gordimer has a daughter and a son. Today Gordimer is known as one of the most exceptional novelists and short story writers being published in English.She published fourteen novels and nineteen collections of short stories.Her first published work was a short story for children, "The Quest for Seen Gold," and "Come Again Tomorrow," another children's story, published around the same time. She collected her early short stories in Face to Face, published in 1949. Her writing has long dealt with moral and racial issues, particularly apartheid1 in South Africa. For a time some of Gordimer’s work was banned in South Africa for outspoken political views. In 1951, the New Yorker published her story ‘A Watcher of the Dead’. Gordimer's first novel, The Lying Days, was published in 1953. In 1954, The Late Bourgeois World was Gordimer's first personal experience with censorship; it was banned in 1976 for a decade by the South African government. A World of Strangers was banned for twelve years. Burger's Daughter, published in June, 1979, was banned one month later. July's People was also banned under apartheid, and faced censorship under the post-apartheid government as well. Gordimer’s role as a novelist or short story writer has long been discussed. Whether she is a better novelist or the latter is a hard question to answer. But as a short story writer her contributions to the genre is not denied. Especially since Robert Haugh’s study privileged the ‘poetic intensity’ of the short stories have often been seen as examples of a kind of technical perfection ,or aesthetic completeness, which some critics deem to be a feature of fully realized short stories (Haugh ,92) According to Dominic Head; ‘Gordimer’s reputation as a short story writer is difficult to pin down. My view of the Gordimer stories is that they work ironically with this notion of ‘aesthetic completeness’ in the tradition of key modernist innovators such as Joyce and Mansfield’ (Head,161) She is a member of the National Executive of The Congress of South African Writers, The African National Congress, and is a Vice President of International PEN. Her works has won numerous awards. Friday’s Footprint won the W.H.Smith Award in 1961, A Guest of Honour won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1972 and in 1974 she shared the Booker Prize for The Conservationist. Gordimer was also rewarded with a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991. ‘Country Lovers’ is about a black girl called Thebedi and a white boy called Paulus Eysendyck. Thebedi and her family live in a kraal2 inside the farm’s boundaries. Her family works for old Eysendyck, Paulus’s father .At the beginning of the story Paulus and Thebedi are friends and they play with each other like the rest of the children. When they reach the age of thirteen Paulus is sent to a rural school and...
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