Clingman Remembers Nadine Gordimer in International Press

Nadine Gordimer and Stephen Clingman during her 1991 visit to campus.

English professor Stephen Clingman, one of the leading experts in the world on South African writer and Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer, was among knowledgeable commentators sought out by media around the world following her death on July 13.

Clingman was interviewed live on the BBC shortly after the official announcement of her passing and later in the day, he discussed Gordimer’s life and career with Madeleine Brand of National Public Radio station KCRW in Los Angeles.

He also wrote a remembrance for the United Kingdom/Australia website, The Conversation, as well as a longer piece titled “First, and Last Time with Nadine” which was published July 20 in the Sunday Independent in Johannesburg.

“I first met Gordimer when I went to interview her in 1980, and I saw her and stayed in touch over the years up until a few weeks ago, when we spoke by phone,” said Clingman. “In my article for the Sunday Independent, I write about her visit to UMass in 1991 to give the English department’s Troy Lecture, in the very week her Nobel Prize was announced. We had invited her a year before, and the timing was perfect.”

Gordimer was the subject of Clingman’s doctoral dissertation and his first book, “The Novels of Nadine Gordimer: History from the Inside,” which was published in a second edition by the UMass Press after she won the Nobel Prize.

Clingman also edited and introduced her collection of non-fiction, “The Essential Gesture: Writing, Politics, Places,” which was translated into a number of languages.