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Shifts in Gordimer’s Recent Short Fiction: Story-Telling after Apartheid

I Dimitriu


The main aim of this article is to challenge interpretations of Gordimer’s short-story writing as ideologically less significant and/or artistically less accomplished than her novels: by bringing a more comprehensive approach to the shorter fiction, the article suggests the need of going beyond binary thinking regarding genre considerations. After presenting an overview of Gordimer’s earlier and later short-story collections, the focus shifts to her most recent collection, Loot (2003), to analyse new tendencies in her writing. Although in the last decade, the moral pressure for an exclusive focus on South Africa has been lifted, Gordimer neither simply escapes into decontextualised meditations, nor continues to obsess about South Africa. Instead, she expresses a new interest in the dynamics of the local and the global, of the global beyond the local, and looks at broader issues of postcolonial relevance in the world today: identity and (dis)location, migration and exile, hybridity and liminality – all steeped in the tension between ‘centre and periphery’ as global phenomena after apartheid, and after the Cold War.

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eISSN: 2159-9130
print ISSN: 1013-929X