Tuesday, July 15, 2014

In Memoriam - Nadine Gordimer

Nadine Gordimer, writer, political activist, and winner of the 1991 Nobel Prize for Literature had died at the age of 90.

Gordimer was born in a town outside of Johannesburg to parents who had immigrated to South Africa from Europe in early part of twentieth century. She was a solitary child who began writing at an early age about was first published when just fifteen years old. Gordimer was devoted to social justice and will be forever be remembered as a powerful literary voice against apartheid.

Her books were sometimes banned in South Africa, including July's People published in 1981.

"For years, it had been what is called a “deteriorating situation.” Now all over South Africa the cities are battlegrounds. The members of the Smales family—liberal whites—are rescued from the terror by their servant, July, who leads them to refuge in his village. What happens to the Smaleses and to July—the shifts in character and relationships—gives us an unforgettable look into the terrifying, tacit understandings and misunderstandings between blacks and whites." publisher

Gordimer was the winner of numerous literary awards and honorary doctorates, most notable of which was the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991 for July's People.

Nadine Gordimer created memorable and engaging characters which made reading her novels and short stories a joy. She published consistently throughout her long life - her final novel, published in 2012, was No Time Like the Present.

"In No Time Like the Present, Gordimer brings the reader into the lives of Steven Reed and Jabulile Gramede, a 'mixed' couple, both of whom have been combatants in the struggle for freedom against apartheid. Once clandestine lovers under racist law forbidding sexual relations between white and black, they are now in the new South Africa. The place and time where freedom—the "better life for all" fought for, promised—is being created while challenged by political and racial tensions, the hangover of moral ambiguities which, along with the vast gap between affluence and mass poverty, haunts from the past. No freedom from personal involvement in these, in the personal intimacy of love." publisher

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