Home Arts & Culture Nadine Gordimer dies in Johannesburg aged 90

Nadine Gordimer dies in Johannesburg aged 90


Nobel Prize-winning writer Nadine Gordimer has died in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the age of 90.

Nadine Gordimer, who was one of the literary world’s most powerful voices against apartheid – died at her home after a short illness, her family said.

She wrote more than 30 books, including the novels My Son’s Story, Burger’s Daughter and July’s People.

Nadine Gordimer jointly won 1974’s Booker Prize for The Conservationist and was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1991.

The Nobel committee said at the time it was honoring Nadine Gordimer for her “magnificent epic writing” which had been “of very great benefit to humanity”.

Nadine Gordimer was one of the literary world's most powerful voices against apartheid

Nadine Gordimer was one of the literary world’s most powerful voices against apartheid (photo Getty Images)

Writing from an early age, the author published her first story – Come Again Tomorrow – in a Johannesburg magazine at just 15.

Her works comprised both novels and short stories where the consequences of apartheid, exile and alienation were the major themes.

Nadine Gordimer’s family said she “cared most deeply about South Africa, its culture, its people, and its ongoing struggle to realize its new democracy”.

Committed to fighting apartheid, Nadine Gordimer was a leading member of the African National Congress and fought for the release of Nelson Mandela. They went on to become firm friends.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation paid tribute to Nadine Gordimer, saying it was “deeply saddened at the loss of South Africa’s grande dame of literature”.

“We have lost a great writer, a patriot and strong voice for equality and democracy in the world,” it added.

A number of Nadine Gordimer’s books were banned by the South African government under the apartheid regime including 1966’s The Late Bourgeois World and 1979’s Burger’s Daughter.

Her last novel, No Time Like the Present, published in 2012, follows veterans of the battle against apartheid as they deal with the issues facing modern South Africa.

She was also critical of South African President Jacob Zuma, expressing her opposition to a proposed law which would limit the publication of information deemed sensitive by the government.

Nadine Gordimer’s family said a private memorial service would be announced at a later date.She is survived by three children.

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