Saturday 25 October 2014

Nobel prize winner Nadine Gordimer dies at 90

Published 15/07/2014 | 02:30

Nobel Prize for literature laureate Nadine Gordimer attends a memorial for Nelson Mandela's biographer and former Drum editor late Anthony Sampson in Johannesburg in this February 8, 2005, file photo. Gordimer, an uncompromising moralist who became one of the most powerful voices against the injustices of apartheid, has died, her family said on July 14, 2014.  REUTERS/Radu Sigheti/Files
Nobel Prize for literature laureate Nadine Gordimer. Reuters

NADINE Gordimer the campaigning winner of the 1991 Nobel Prize for literature has died. She was 90 years old.

She was an author and activist and her novels interweaved the personal and the political in her accounts of apartheid South Africa.

She won the Nobel Prize for her morally complex novels that explored the cost of racial conflict in apartheid-era South Africa.

As a white South African who hated apartheid, she also played a political role in her country's troubled history. She was born near Springs, a mining town near Johannesburg. Her father, Isidore, was a Latvian watchmaker, while her mother, Hannah, or Nan, was from a London family of Jewish origins, although Nadine was raised in a secular household. Her father had been a refugee from tsarist Russia – but, Nadine noted, his experiences gave him no particular feeling for those oppressed under apartheid. Her mother did, however, and opened a creche for black children. Political awareness came early: when she was in her teens, police raided the family home, taking letters and diaries from a servant's room.

She was educated at a Catholic convent school, though she was often kept at home by her mother, because she feared she had a weak heart. (Independent News Service)

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