The South African writer Nadine Gordimer has died at the age of 90. She wrote more than two dozen works of fiction, three of which were banned under the apartheid regime. In 1991, she won the Nobel Prize for Literature. In a statement, her family said her proudest moments included her testimony at a 1986 trial in defense of 22 members of the African National Congress who were accused of treason. The Nobel committee particularly highlighted her 1981 novel “July’s People,” about a black servant who rescues his white employers from civil war. Gordimer spoke about that novel during a PEN World Voices event at Cooper Union in 2007.
Nadine Gordimer: “I was looking at what was very likely at the time, it seemed to me, to happen, that we were in that country, we were lemmings right at the edge of the cliff, ready to fall over into a civil war — this of course precipitated by the white regime there and naturally answered by black resistance. So ’July’s People’ was indeed my look into a possible horrendous future and what a blessing, all the gods that may be, that it didn’t happen. We avoided it.”
Gordimer died in her sleep at her home in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Sunday.