Over the weekend the world lost a powerful voice in the fight against apartheid and the fight for freedom. On the 13th of July, Nadine Gordimer passed away at the age of 90. She left behind her a number of novels, plays, short fictions, and essays. Much of her work focused on important political issues, race, love, and the intersection of these in human life.
She had such an impact in South Africa and around the world that her she was given a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1991. In a statement from the Nobel committee, they proclaimed that Gordimer was a woman “who through her magnificent epic writing has – in the words of Alfred Nobel – been of very great benefit to humanity.”
While focusing primarily on ending apartheid, Gordimer was involved in South African politics as well as the fight against HIV/AIDS in the country, in Africa, and around the world. Nadine even spent time teaching at various universities in the US.
Her long career as an author and activist should be remembered by those who support her values. Here are a few of her best quotes that demonstrate the kind of author and fighter she was until the end:
On Nelson Mandela: “Not a figure carved in stone but a tall man, of flesh and blood, whose suffering had made him not vengeful but still more human – even toward the people who had created the prison that was apartheid.”
On Censorship: “Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever.”
On writing: “Writing is making sense of life. You work your whole life and perhaps you’ve made sense of one small area.”
Another on writing: “Your whole life you are really writing one book, which is an attempt to grasp the consciousness of your time and place – a single book written from different stages of your ability.”
On truth and beauty: “The truth isn’t always beauty, but the hunger for it is.”