Johannesburg: South African Nobel Prize-winning author Nadine Gordimer, an uncompromising moralist who became one of the most powerful voices against the injustice of Apartheid, has died at the age of 90, her family said on Monday.
Gordimer, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991, died peacefully at her Johannesburg home on Sunday evening in the presence of her children, Hugo and Oriane, a statement from the family said.
Regarded by many as South Africa’s leading writer, Gordimer was renowned as a rigid moralist whose novels and short stories reflected the drama of human life and emotion in a society warped by decades of white-minority rule. Many of her stories dealt with the themes of love, hate and friendship under the pressures of the racially segregated system that ended in 1994, when Nelson Mandela became South Africa's first black president.
A member of Mandela’s African National Congress — banned under Apartheid — Gordimer used her pen to battle against the inequality of white rule for decades, earning her the enmity of sections of the establishment.
Some of her novels, such as A World of Strangers and Burger’s Daughter, were banned by the Apartheid authorities. But Gordimer, a petite figure with a crystal-clear gaze, did not restrict her writing to a damning indictment of apartheid, cutting through the web of hypocrisy and deceit.
“I cannot simply damn Apartheid when there is human injustice to be found everywhere else,” she had said. In later years, she became a vocal campaigner in the HIV/AIDS movement, lobbying and fund-raising on behalf of the Treatment Action Campaign.