5 Free Short Stories by Nadine Gordimer

By now, you know that Nadine Gordimer has died. She was 90 years old. Back in 1991, when she won the Nobel Prize, The New York Times made this announce­ment:

Nadine Gordimer, whose nov­els of South Africa por­tray the con­flicts and con­tra­dic­tions of a racist soci­ety, was named win­ner of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Lit­er­a­ture today as her coun­try final­ly begins to dis­man­tle the sys­tem her works have poignant­ly explored for more than 40 years.

In a brief cita­tion, the Swedish Acad­e­my, which con­fers the awards, referred to her as “Nadine Gordimer, who through her mag­nif­i­cent epic writ­ing has — in the words of Alfred Nobel — been of very great ben­e­fit to human­i­ty.”

The acad­e­my also added that “her con­tin­u­al involve­ment on behalf of lit­er­a­ture and free speech in a police state where cen­sor­ship and per­se­cu­tion of books and peo­ple exist have made her ‘the doyenne of South African let­ters.’ ”

Yes­ter­day, The New York­er com­ment­ed that, although she wrote 15 nov­els, it was “through her short fic­tion Gordimer made her pres­ence felt the most.” Gordimer pub­lished her very first short sto­ry, “Come Again Tomor­row,” in a Johan­nes­burg mag­a­zine in 1938, when she was just 15 years old. Thir­teen years lat­er, there came anoth­er first — the first of many sto­ries she pub­lished in The New York­er (“A Watch­er of the Dead”). Although many of Gordimer’s New York­er sto­ries remain locked up, avail­able only to the mag­a­zine’s sub­scribers, we’ve man­aged to dig up sev­er­al open ones. Above, you can watch Gordimer read her 1999 sto­ry called “Loot” while vis­it­ing Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty in 2005. The text has since been re-pub­lished on the Nobel Prize web site. Below, you can also lis­ten to author Tes­sa Hadley read “City Lovers,” first pub­lished in The New York­er in 1975. The sto­ry “focuss­es on a love affair between a white man and a ‘col­ored’ woman in Apartheid South Africa. It’s deeply polit­i­cal in its details—the man is a geol­o­gist at a min­ing com­pa­ny, the couple’s affair is ille­gal, and they cov­er it up by pre­tend­ing that she is his ser­vant. ”

Oth­er Gordimer sto­ries avail­able online include “The First Sense” and “A Ben­e­fi­cia­ry”, pub­lished respec­tive­ly in The New York­er in 2006 and 2007. “The Sec­ond Sense” came out in The Vir­ginia Quar­ter­ly, also in 2007. If you, dear Open Cul­ture read­ers, hap­pen to know of any oth­er Gordimer sto­ries pub­lished online, please let us know in the com­ments sec­tions below, and we’ll add them to the roundup.

Relat­ed Con­tent

1,000 Free Audio Books: Down­load Great Books for Free

Read 18 Short Sto­ries From Nobel Prize-Win­ning Writer Alice Munro Free Online

10 Free Sto­ries by George Saun­ders, Author of Tenth of Decem­ber

Neil Gaiman’s Free Short Sto­ries

30 Free Essays & Sto­ries by David Fos­ter Wal­lace on the Web

800 Free eBooks for iPad, Kin­dle & Oth­er Devices

by | Permalink | Comments (3) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (3)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.