Original Research

A study of identity in post-apartheid South African English literature: The Pickup by Nadine Gordimer

M.J. Cloete
Literator | Vol 26, No 1 | a218 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v26i1.218 | © 2005 M.J. Cloete | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 July 2005 | Published: 31 July 2005

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M.J. Cloete, Department of English Studies, School of Languages & Communication Studies, University of the North, Sovenga, South Africa

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In examining aspects of identity in “The Pickup” (2001), Nadine Gordimer’s latest novel, this article indicates new trends in postapartheid South African English literature as well. In the article it is indicated that identity has always been an important theme in Gordimer’s novels. Her earlier novels tend to focus on her characters’ struggle to attain political or racial rather than personal freedom, while her later novels increasingly tend to examine the construction of individual identities. “The Pickup” has continued this search for identity, but against a new and interesting perspective, a perspective that is in line with the political transformation of post-apartheid South Africa after 1994. Moreover, this theme is extremely relevant in the twenty-first century with its increased emphasis on place and globalisation. This article thus examines the theme of identity in “The Pickup”, first against a South African background and then against the backdrop of an unknown town somewhere in the desert – most probably in Northern Africa.


Identity; Nadine Gordimer; Post-Apartheid South African English Literature; The Pickup


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Crossref Citations

1. The Essential Gesture as Transnational Gesture in Nadine Gordimer'sThe Pickup
Ruth A.H. Lahti
Current Writing  vol: 25  issue: 1  first page: 39  year: 2013  
doi: 10.1080/1013929X.2013.795746