Gordimer blames poverty, not attackers

Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer, author of the excellent My Son’s Story, was attacked during a burglary of her home late last week. Yesterday she told the Guardian that she’s embarrassed by the attention the incident has received, and that the men who robbed her

are products of a society grappling with the legacy of South Africa’s past. “I know that South Africa has a terrible problem with crime, with violent crime. But I don’t think the answer is more police. I think we must look at the reasons behind the crime. There are young people in poverty without opportunities. They need education, training and employment. That is the way to reduce crime,” she said.

Gordimer, who is a member of the ruling African National Congress, said the men who robbed her were a symptom of the challenges facing South Africa. “South Africa needs a huge jobs programme, like what Roosevelt did in the United States. That will prevent youth from turning to crime,” she said.

Elsewhere, a Guardian writer applauds Gordimer for “refus[ing] to join compatriots like her fellow Nobel prize winner JM Coetzee – and her two children – in the white liberal exodus….” (First link via Bookninja.)

Incidentally, I haven’t been able to get into her latest novel, Get a Life, but if you’re a fan, email me at maud [at] maudnewton dot com, and explain why you want to read this book. First person to send a few convincing sentences gets my copy. Update: I’ll be sending my copy to Naveeda V. of Portland, Oregon.


You might want to subscribe to my free Substack newsletter, Ancestor Trouble, if the name makes intuitive sense to you.