Anti-apartheid Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer dies aged 90

By Charlotte Oliver, July 14, 2014
Nadine Gordimer (Photo: Bengt Oberger)

Nadine Gordimer (Photo: Bengt Oberger)

South African author and Nobel Prize winning activist Nadine Gordimer died on Sunday at the age of 90, her family have announced.

A statement said the author, who was considered to be a leading world voice against apartheid, died peacefully in her sleep at home in Johannesburg, with her two children present.

Ms Gordimer was born in Gauteng, South Africa, in 1923 to Jewish immigrant parents from Europe. Her Latvian father’s early years as a refugee from Russia were said to have shaped her political stance and concern for repressed members of society.

During apartheid, Ms Gordimer wrote about human struggles under segregation laws – and soon became a forceful voice against the government. She had three books banned under censorship laws, as well as an anthology of poetry by black writers that she edited.

Mr Gordimer was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991, and continued to voice her concerns on social issues in the 1990s with her public criticism of Jacob Zuma and vocal campaigning for HIV/Aids treatment in Africa.

“She cared most deeply about South Africa, its culture, its people and its ongoing struggle to realise its new democracy,” her family’s statement said.

Last updated: 5:18pm, July 14 2014