Living in Hope and History Notes from Our Century

Nadine Gordimer

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

256 Pages



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Internationally celebrated for her novels, Nadine Gordimer has devoted much of her life and fiction to the political struggles of the Third World, the New World, and her native South Africa. Living in Hope and History is an on-the-spot record of her years as a public figure—an observer of apartheid and its aftermath, a member of the ANC, and the champion of dissident writers everywhere.

In a letter to fellow Nobel laureate Kenzaburo Oe, Gordimer describes Living in Hope and History as a "modest book of some of the nonfiction pieces I've written, a reflection of how I've looked at this century I've lived in." It is, in fact, an extraordinary collection of essays, articles, and addresses delivered over four decades, including her Nobel Prize Lecture of 1991.


Praise for Living in Hope and History

"Nadine Gordimer [is] one of the grand chroniclers of the era . . . [She] gives the power of voice to a world where history so often seems to stamp out hope."—Jill Piggott, The Boston Globe Review

"Gripping and important . . . A rare glimpse of the crumbling of the last bastion of colonialism, told by a writer of consummate skill."—Steven Harvey, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"Gordimer has undoubtedly become one of the World's Great Writers . . . Her rootedness in a political time, place and faith has never dimmed her complex gifts as an artist; her partisanship has not compromised her artistic distance. Great writers can retain political faith; they can believe and create. This is an important message for all aspirant writers of the next century."—The Independent (London)

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

FICTION, MORALS, AND POLITICSThree in a bed: it’s a kinky cultural affair. I had better identify the partners.
Politics and morals, as concepts, need no introduction, although their relationship is shadily ambiguous. But fiction has defining responsibilities that I shall be questioning all through what I have to say, so I shall begin right away with the basic, dictionary definition of what fiction is supposed to be.
Fiction, says the Oxford English Dictionary, is ‘the action of feigning or inventing imaginary existences, events, states of things . . . prose
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  • Nadine Gordimer

  • Nadine Gordimer, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1991, is the author of fifteen novels, more than ten volumes of stories, and three nonfiction collections. She lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • Nadine Gordimer Copyright Maureen Isaacson