The Message of Nadine Gordimer's "Country Lovers" Book Review by Julian

A look at the message of Nadine Gordimer's short story, "Country Lovers."
# 151851 | 1,083 words | 3 sources | APA | 2012 | US
Published on Oct 17, 2012 in African-American Studies (Racism) , Literature (General)

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This paper examines Nadine Gordimer's "Country Lovers" from a historical, biographical and political perspective. The paper argues that "Country Lovers" offers insights into both the workings of human society and how the importance of writers having the freedom to express this. Additionally, the paper contends that this work's importance derives from its historical value as testimony of life under apartheid. The paper also sheds light on Nadine Gordimer's own struggle with her social condition as a white activist against racism. The paper concludes by noting that the message in "Country Lovers" is political, primarily that speaking the truth is the best hope for salvation.

From the Paper:

"Historically, the work falls squarely into the body of literature associated with the apartheid, a regime of almost complete racial segregation and discrimination present in South Africa until 1994 (Stanford, 2011). There are at least two ways in which good writers are of interest to the students of the past: the first one is simply for purposes of gathering historical data. For instance, Gordimer notes in an offhand manner that black and white children play together before they go to school, but once enrolled, social differences slowly increase until they become impenetrable at around age 13, when blacks start calling their former white peers "missus" and "little master"(as cited in Clugston, 2010, p. 27). More importantly, however, writers may supply an insider's view or a first person view of life in a certain society at a certain time, which to a reader can make the difference between merely intellectual understanding of an era - as in, aggregation of facts - and developing an emotional connection, a much more profound and valuable psychological understanding. One of Gordimer's highest merits is that she helps readers enter and navigate the world of apartheid, understand and grasp its issues, without ever bringing herself to the fore. Her style is understated, non-judgmental, almost uninvolved, and yet one easily finds one's self immersed in her world..."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Clugston, R. W. (2010). Journey into literature. San Diego, California: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
  • Orwell, George (2004). Nineteen Eighty Four. Fairfield, Iowa: 1st World Publishing.
  • Stanford University (2011). The History of Apartheid in South Africa. Retrieved from

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

The Message of Nadine Gordimer's "Country Lovers" (2012, October 17) Retrieved June 20, 2021, from

MLA Format

"The Message of Nadine Gordimer's "Country Lovers"" 17 October 2012. Web. 20 June. 2021. <>