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The Conservationist by Nadine Gordimer

The Conservationist

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July 2011 Guest Editor Alexander McCall Smith on The Conservationist...

This is a gravely beautiful novel with an extraordinarily strong sense of place and time.

If you like Nadine Gordimer you might also like to read books by Russell Banks.


The Conservationist by Nadine Gordimer

Mehring is rich. He has all the privileges and possessions that South Africa has to offer, but his possessions refuse to remain objects. His wife, son and mistress leave him; his foreman and workers become increasingly indifferent to his stewardship; even the land rises up, as drought, then flood, destroy his farm. As the upheaval in Mehring's world increasingly resembles that in the country as a whole, it becomes clear that only a seismic shift in ideas and concrete action can avert annihilation.


'This is a novel of enormous power'
New Statesman

'Gordimer is a great writer ... It is Turgenev that she most brings to mind'
New York Review of Books

'Nadine Gordimer writes of blacks and whites, but her steady, unblinking eye sees something grey there. You could call it human nature, and you would be right'
Daily Telegraph

'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'

About the Author

Nadine Gordimer

Nadine Gordimer was born in Springs, South Africa in 1923. She was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991 and was the joint winner of the Booker Prize for The Conservationist in 1974. Nadine Gordimer has been awarded honorary doctorates from Oxford and Cambridge, is the vice-president of International PEN and a spokesperson for the United Nations Development Project to eradicate poverty.

A co-founder of the Congress of South African Writers, Nadine Gordimer is a strong advocate of literature and free speech. She has also made a number of television documentaries and written a large collection of articles, literary criticism and speeches. She travels extensively in Africa, Europe, and North and South America. Nadine Gordimer died in 2014.

Photograph © Sophie Bassouls

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Book Info

Publication date

21st November 2005


Nadine Gordimer

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Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


336 pages


Literary Fiction
Family Drama
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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