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South African Writer Nadine Gordimer Dies at 90

  • VOA News

FILE - Nobel Priize winning author Nadine Gordimer arrives for the South African premier of the movie "Mandela - Long Walk To Freedom" in Johannesburg, Nov. 3, 2013.

FILE - Nobel Priize winning author Nadine Gordimer arrives for the South African premier of the movie "Mandela - Long Walk To Freedom" in Johannesburg, Nov. 3, 2013.

South African writer and Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer has died in her Johannesburg home at the age of 90.

Gordimer was an anti-apartheid activist whose writings helped to expose South Africa's government of white-minority rule to a global readership.

Her family says Gordimer died peacefully in her sleep at her home in Johannesburg, surrounded by her son and daughter. They did not disclose the cause of her death.

Gordimer, a white South African born to Jewish immigrants, began writing at the age of 9. She wrote novels, short stories and non-fiction that chronicled the drama of human life in a society shaped by decades of apartheid.

The author was an early member of the African National Congress, which was banned under the apartheid government.

Her death sparked an outpouring of tributes, including from the Nelson Mandela Foundation and from the now ruling African National Congress. The party said Gordimer was an "unmatched literary giant whose life's work was our mirror and an unending quest for humanity".

Gordimer had several of her books banned by South Africa's apartheid government, including "Burger's Daughter," one of her best known novels.

Speaking in an interview in 1991, Gordimer talked about what it was like having her works banned by the government.

"I had problems in that three of my books were banned, that's a strange experience for a writer," she said. "I was fortunate that I was writing in a world language in English, so that I was fortunate enough to be published elsewhere, but you want to be read in your own country by your own people and you feel a bit of a ghost when your books are banned. But now nothing of mine is banned, and indeed nothing of anybody's that I know of is banned any more."

Gordimer won a slew of awards for her work including the Man Booker Prize in 1974 and the Nobel Prize for literature in 1991.

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