Authors birthdays: November

Nadine Gordimer (20 November 1923 – 13 July 2014) was a South African writer, political activist and recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature. She has recognised as a woman “who through her magnificent epic writing has – in the words of Alfred Nobel – been of very great benefit to humanity”.

Gordimer was educated at a convent school and began writing at the young age of nine; her first short story was published when she was fifteen in the liberal Johannesburg magazine, Forum. She later spent a year at Witwatersrand University, Johannesburg without receiving a degree. In 1948, she moved to Johannesburg where she lived most of her life. Gordimer has been awarded 10 honorary doctorates in literature from various universities around the world.

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Gordimer wrote about her childhood in Springs, then a mining town on the East Rand outside Johannesburg, only relatively late in her life. She remembered the spectral presence of black workers on the margins of her world and a burgeoning awareness of difference; she recalled also a kind of class struggle waged between her parents – her party, upper-class mother and her lower-class father.

In 1974, her novel, The Conservationist, was the joint winner of the Booker Prize for Fiction. Her 1979 novel, Burger’s Daughter, was written during the aftermath of the Soweto uprising and was banned, along with other books she had written. Although many of Gordimer’s books were banned by the Apartheid regime in South Africa, they were widely read around the world and served almost as a testament over the years of the changing responses to Apartheid in South Africa. She never considered going into exile but in the 1960s and 1970’s she lectured at universities in the United States of America (USA) for short periods.

Nadine Gordimer died in her sleep in her Johannesburg home on 13 July 2014.

  • Kameisha Jerae Hodge – 1 November 1989
  • William Melvin Kelley – 1 November 1937
  • Michelle Cliff – 2 November 1946
  • Lauretta Ngcobo -1931 – died 3 November 2015,
  • Uzodinma Iweala – 5 November  1982
  • Stephen Watson – 6 November 1954 –  died 10 April 2011
  • Colson Whitehead – 6 November 1969
  • Derrick Albert Bell, Jr. – 6 November 1930 –died 5 October 2011
  • René Maran – 8 November 1887 – died 9 May 1960
  • Godspower Samson Oboido – 10 November 1988
  • Joan Cooper – 10 November 1931– died 20 September 2014
  • Miriam Tlali – 11 November 1933
  • Kamanda Kama Sywor – 11 November 1952
  • Emma Dunham Kelley-Hawkins – 11 November 1863 – died 22 October 1938
  • Damon Galgut – 12 November 1963
  • Wanda Coleman – 13 November 1946 –died 22 November 2013
  • Jan Rabie – 14 November 1920 – died 15 November 2001
  • Musaemura Bonas Zimunya – 14 November 1949
  • Elie Rajaonarison – 15 November 1951 – died 27 November 2010
  • Rosemary Esehagu – 15 November 1981
  • Sarah Jane Woodson Early – 15 November 1825 –died August 1907
  • Abdi Abdulkadir Sheik-Abdi – 15 November 1942
  • Albert Chinualumogu Achebe – 16 November 1930 –died 21 March 2013
  • Johanna Brandt – 18 November 1876 – died 13 January 1964
  • Tina McElroy Ansa -18 November 1949
  • William Alexander Attaway – 19 November 1911 –died 17 June 1986
  • Ethelbert Miller – 20 November 1950
  • Pauli Murray – 20 November 1910 –died 1 July 1985
  • Nadine Gordimer – 20 November 1923 – died 13 July 2014
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