Life Times Stories

Praise for Life Times: Stories

“A welcome collection by a master of English prose—lucid and precisely written.”

—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Highly recommended; these powerful and serious stories span the career to date of a critically acclaimed, prize-winning author.... The themes in these pieces include political activism, race relations, love, family and relationships, remembrances of times past, the notion of home and being transplanted elsewhere, everyday life, and much more.... Gordimer’s characters and situations are complex and multifaceted, and it is a testament to her literary skill that she can pack so much depth of meaning into each story.”

—Library Journal

“For those new to Gordimer, Life Times is a marvelous introduction to her writing. For those who know her work, it is a worthy reminder of the enduring power of her art.... What ultimately makes Gordimer’s stories matter is her extraordinary ability to get beneath our skin, forcing us to acknowledge our own uncomfortable fellowship with her humanly flawed characters.”


“[Gordimer] is incredibly gifted at revealing the most subtle character details. . . . These stories offer a fascinating portrait of contemporary South Africa. What they reveal, above all, is a writer willing to face issues of cruelty, hypocrisy, and despair, and refusing to back down.”

—The Dallas Morning News

“This Nobel Prize – winning South African writer is as vital and independent as she has ever been. Boundaries in her fiction and politics exist to be challenged.... In her work, as in her life, [Gordimer] recognizes all the compelling reasons for despair that there are in the world and refuses to be intimidated.”

—The Telegraph (London)

“Daring . . . Gordimer’s are stories of the human soul—regardless of the color of the skin it comes wrapped in.... [Her] writing is a humane intervention between the two factions of what seemed, at times, a hopelessly divided society. Her characters are messengers who could cross boundaries in the imagination that would have been forbidden in reality.... Thrilling.”

—The Independent (London)

“[Albert] Camus’s statement ‘The moment when I am no longer more than a writer, I will cease to write’ helps to explain the vitality of this extraordinary writer and the moral gaze she has cast—arch and rigorous—over literature and politics in the past sixty years.”

—The Guardian (London)


Nadine Gordimer’s fourteen novels include The Conservationist, joint winner of the Booker Prize, Burger’s Daughter, July’s People, The Pickup, A Sport of Nature, and Get a Life, all available from Penguin. Her nine collections of short stories include Loot, and, most recently, Beethoven Was One-Sixteenth Black, also available from Penguin. She has collected and edited Telling Tales, an anthology published in fourteen languages whose royalties go to HIV/AIDS organizations. In 1991 she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. She lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.


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First published in Great Britain by Bloomsbury Publishing 2010

First published in the United States of America by Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2010

Published in Penguin Books