Rosa Burger grew up in a home under constant surveillance by the South African government. Her parents were detained for their political beliefs; her father died in prison, and her mother, whose health suffered from her time in jail, eventually dies. Rosa, a white South African in her early twenties, is left the only surviving member of her family. Yet even after her parents’ deaths, the history of their anti-apartheid beliefs and practices have a daily impact on her life: it seems everyone has expectations of her and the government is still watching. A quiet, private person, Rosa constantly searches her memories to find herself, to grasp this heritage that weighs her down. Over a period of several years Rosa comes to understand the impact of the South African political climate on her and how she became who she is. Take time to read this novel; the political realities it describes are complicated. The narrative style varies from straightforward storytelling to Rosa’s most personal thoughts. In Burger’s Daughter, Nobel Prize-winner Nadine Gordimer takes a situation most read about in newspapers and makes it real, creating a memorable story of coming to terms with circumstances over which we have little control, yet which directly affect our lives. — For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let’s Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. — From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Holly Smith
About the Author
Nadine Gordimer is the author of eleven previous novels, as well as collections of stories and essays. She has received many awards, including the Booker Prize (for The Conservationist in 1974) and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1991. She lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.
This is the moving story of the unforgettable Rosa Burger, a young woman from South Africa cast in the mold of a revolutionary tradition. Rosa tries to uphold her heritage handed on by martyred parents while still carving out a sense of self. Although it is wholly of today, Burger’s Daughter can be compared to those 19th century Russian classics that make a certain time and place come alive, and yet stand as universal celebrations of the human spirit. Nadine Gordimer, winner of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature, was born and lives in South Africa.