The Power Of a Well-Told Tale

South Africa's NADINE GORDIMER, awarded the world's most coveted literary prize, talks about Mandela, violence and social change

Last week Nadine Gordimer, 67, became the first woman in 25 years to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. The announcement of the award pleased readers and critics of her 20 volumes of fiction, including 10 novels, and prompted an interesting response in South Africa, where she was born, where she has lived all of her life, and where three of her books were once officially banned. President F.W. de Klerk congratulated Gordimer for what he termed "this exceptional achievement, which is also an honor to South Africa."

Such praise from a South African head of state would, not so long...

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