Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Prize Winning Fiction
Prize Winning Fiction

1974 Booker Prize Winner (Shared)

The Conservationist by Nadine Gordimer


Publisher: Jonathan Cape

Length: 336 pages

About: Rich white South African loses everything

Style: 1st and 3rd person

Where: South Africa

When: 1970s



Publisher’s synopsis:

Mehring is rich. He has all the privileges and possessions that South Africa has to offer, but his possessions refuse to remain objects. His wife, son, and mistress leave him; his foreman and workers become increasingly indifferent to his stewardship; even the land rises up, as drought, then flood, destroy his farm.




But the dead man is on his property. Now that the farmer has arrived the herdsman Jacobus has found the firmness and support of an interpretation of the event: his determined back in blue overalls, collar standing away from slightly bent neck is leading to the intruder. He is doing his duty and his employer has a duty to follow him.





The wondeful specificty - the novel's openng description of those guinea-fowl eggs is an exmple of Nadine Gordimer's contingency at its best - is occaionally a clotting burden, as well as frequently an exhilirating blessing.

Valentine Cunningham, Times Literary Supplement 1st November 1974



Not so good:

The intensity of this writing requires serious concentration, especially when coupled with an impressionistic narrative that skips backwards and forwards over time and situates us right inside Mehring's head - an increasingly unpleasant place to be. It's hard work - but is correspondingly effective.

click here for full review

The Guardian Book Blog, Sam Jordison, 27th February 2008


About the author

Nadine Gordimer was born in Springs, in South Africa in 1923. She was educated at a convent school and spent a year at Witwaterstrand University. Since then, her life has been devoted to her writing. Her first novel, The Lying Days (1953), was based largely on her own life and set in her home town. In 1991 she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, and in 2007, the Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur. She died in July 2014.


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<1973> -  <1975>

















Page turner







Age guide: 12






Novels by same author:

The Lying Days (1953)

A World of Strangers (1958)

Occasion for Loving (1963)

The Late Bourgeois World (1966)

A Guest of Honour (1970)

Burger's Daughter (1979)

July's People (1981)

A Sport of Nature (1987)

My Son's Story (1990)

None to Accompany Me (1994)

The House Gun (1998)

The Pickup (2001)

Get a Life (2005)

No Time Like the Present (2012)[4








None to date









2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner

It's a massive day in arts and journalism because the 100th annual Pulitzer Prize winners were just announced, and there's a big surprise. 2015's best artistic and nonfiction writing across 21 categories were recognized during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City. The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Hebert Bayward Swope, a reporter for The New York World, in 1916. (And if you're as big a fan of Newsies as I am, that paper should ring a bell, but try to think of it more positively.)

The major prize for book nerds, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), a legitimate surprise, if you've been paying attention to the book nerd and industry buzz. The feeling around the prize in the last few months would have you putting all your hard-earned cash down on A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara to take home the award, but that's why you should never gamble. Viet Thanh Nguyen is no less deserving, and moreover, it's his debut novel, which makes it such a wonderful win.

Extract from New York Times to view full article...

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