South African anti-apartheid author, Nobel winner Gordimer dies

Mon Jul 14, 2014 4:14pm EDT
 
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By Ndundu Sithole

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African Nobel Prize-winning author Nadine Gordimer, an unwavering moralist who became one of the most powerful voices against the injustice of apartheid, has died at the age of 90, her family said on Monday.

Gordimer, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991, died at her Johannesburg home on Sunday evening in the presence of her children, Hugo and Oriane, a statement from the family said.

"She cared most deeply about South Africa, its culture, its people and its ongoing struggle to realize its new democracy."

Regarded by many as South Africa's leading writer, Gordimer published novels and short stories steeped in the drama of human life and emotion of a society warped by decades of white-minority rule.

Many of her stories dealt with the themes of love, hate and friendship under the pressures of the racially segregated system that ended in 1994, when Nelson Mandela became South Africa's first black president.

A member of Mandela's African National Congress (ANC), which was banned under apartheid, Gordimer used her pen to battle against the inequality of white rule for decades, earning her the enmity of sections of the establishment.

Some of her novels, such as “"A World of Strangers" and "“Burger's Daughter", were banned by the apartheid authorities.

But Gordimer, a petite figure with a crystal-clear gaze, did not restrict her writing to a damning indictment of apartheid. She cut through the web of human hypocrisy and deceit wherever she found it.   Continued...

 
Nobel Prize for literature laureate Nadine Gordimer attends a memorial for [Nelson Mandela's biographer and former Drum editor late Anthony Sampson] in Johannesburg February 8, 2005. - RTXN8CI