No Cold Kitchen: A Biography of Nadine Gordimer
Today’s Free Kindle eBook: No Cold Kitchen: A Biography of Nadine Gordimer
“Since it appeared … Roberts’s biography, No Cold Kitchen, has been the talk of literary South Africa.” – The New York Times Book Review
No Cold Kitchen charts Nadine Gordimer’s life and work, providing a vibrant portrait of the country Gordimer lived in, the history she lived through and the people around her — people in South Africa, such as Nelson Mandela, George Bizos, Es’kia Mphahlele, Bram Fischer, Nat Nakasa, Desmond Tutu and Alan Paton; and people abroad, including Susan Sontag, Salman Rushdie, Anthony Sampson, Edward Said, Amos Oz, Harry Levin and New Yorker editor Katharine White.
Drawing upon unprecedented access to Gordimer and her documents, No Cold Kitchen gives sympathetic but rigorous attention to the full range of Gordimer’s work, teasing out the inevitable contradictions between her public and private voices and granting the reader an intimate insight into what Gordimer underwent and overcame, both during apartheid and afterwards. Ronald Suresh Roberts shrewdly chronicles the drive that led Gordimer, who described herself as a “barefoot girl from Springs”, to a Nobel Prize for literature.
Newspaper billboard that appeared days after Nadine Gordimer attempted to stop the publication of No Cold Kitchen:
“The critical writing — yours — about my work, its development, its contradictions as well as its creative solutions painfully arrived at, its relation, through me and my evolvement, with politics and the history-as-politics that we call ‘our times’ — all this is outstandingly excellent. I speak of the criticism as well as the praise; I speak of the insights you have that are truly illuminating, even to me, of my own writing. Thank you!”
Nadine Gordimer to Ronald Suresh Roberts, 16 January 2003
“All through the manuscript I discovered so much about Nadine, her life that I didn’t actually know … [T]he very, very, very and most remarkable thing is your great, wide, deep knowledge of all Nadine’s work (everything she has ever written) and your absolutely brilliant analysis and insight. I found it tremendously stimulating and inspiring!”
Oriane Taramasco (Gordimer’s daughter) to Ronald Suresh Roberts, February 2003
“I want to say that I am favourably impressed with the sensitivity, style, insight, scene-painting, context-building, that you have brought to this task. You bring Nadine and her various worlds marvelously alive. I don’t know anything of her reaction yet, but my own hunch is that she too — once she has absorbed the shocks that being written about so intently must give rise to — will be taken with, glad about, what you have done. She ought to be in any case, in my view … I think what you have done is eminently worthy and revealing of her greatness.”
Jonathan Galassi (President and Publisher, Farrar, Straus & Giroux) to Ronald Suresh Roberts, December 2002
“I have read this long and lively biography with great interest and admiration. It is a brilliant book in many ways, and especially in its analyses of the works of Nadine Gordimer.”
Liz Galder (Publisher, Bloomsbury Publishing Plc) to Ronald Suresh Roberts, 29 July 2004
Ronald Suresh Roberts, a graduate of Balliol College Oxford and Harvard Law School, was born in London while his West Indian and Indo-Malaysian parents were studying there. He grew up in Trinidad, worked in New York and then arrived in Johannesburg in 1994 as the coordinator of an international election monitoring delegation. He is author of Clarence Thomas and the Tough Love Crowd (1995) and co-author of Reconciliation Through Truth: A Reckoning of Apartheid’s Criminal Governance (1997). He lives in Cape Town.
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