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Nov 20

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November 20: Nadine Gordimer

Nadine Gordimer (1923)

It was on this date, November 20, 1923, that South African novelist and short-story writer Nadine Gordimer was born the daughter of a Jewish-Lithuanian emigrant in Springs, outside of Johannesburg. Gordimer was educated in a convent school and spent a year at university, but took no degree. Her first short story was published when she was fourteen. She made her reputation on novels set in South Africa and dealing with racial and moral issues in the changing social, moral, and political ravages of apartheid there.

Gordimer was a founding member of Congress of South African Writers. She won the Booker Prize (1974) and the 1991 Nobel Prize in literature. In her 1991 Nobel lecture, Gordimer makes a brilliant if veiled charge, using theistic language, that writers are more powerful with their words than religions are with their dogmas. While rejecting Liberalism, her novels also offer no hope of help from God. Nadine Gordimer is an Atheist.*

* According to the Celebrity Atheist Web site and “Justice in the Interregnum? Law, Politics and Society in Selected Novels of Nadine Gordimer,” by Thomas Patrick Gannon, in Legal Studies Forum, Volume 15, Number 2 (1991).

Originally published November 2003.

About the author

Ronald Bruce Meyer

Freethought Almanac was created by Ronald Bruce Meyer, in collaboration with freethoughtradio.com, in March 2003. What started with a brief notice on the birthday of Albert Einstein, grew into almost 250,000 words on not only biography but history, philosophy, theology and politics — one day at a time. Freethought Almanac looks at these daily subjects from a godless point of view, that is, a point of view that is based not on fantasies, delusions or wishful thinking, but a view that is evidence-based.

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