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Nadine Gordimer was born on 20 November 1923 in Springs a small mining town near Johannesburg in South Africa which turned out to be the setting for Gordimers first novel The Lying Days 1953 Her father was a Jewish jeweler originally from Latvia and her mother of British descent She was educated in a convent school and she spent a year at Witwaterstrand University Johannesburg without taking a degree She has traveled extensively in Africa Europe and North America where she has often undertaken lecture tours but has continued to live in Johannesburg married since 1954 to a businessman Reinhold Cassirer The couple has a son and each has a daughter from a previous marriage She was often kept at home by a mother who imagined she had a weak heart and began writing from the age of nine her first work appeared in the Johannesburg magazine Forum when she was fifteen Her first collection of short stories Face to Face was published ten years later in 1949 Her first novel The Lying Days appeared in 1953 She has now published 10 novels and 7 collections of short stories as well as a few volumes of literary criticism and in addition a large number of articles speeches and lectures on different subjects Some of her books have at times been banned in her native country Since 1948 Gordimer has lived in Johannesburg and taught in the USA in several universities during the 1960s and 70s She has also written books of non-fiction on South African subjects and made television documentaries Nadine Gordimer has always aspired to live as a private individual outside the public eye However her international fame and the many major awards which she has received have made it difficult She has been continually involved on behalf of literature and free speech in a police state where censorship and persecution of books and people exist She won the Booker Prize in
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