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Writer Nadine Gordimer dies

July 14, 2014

The Nobel laureate and South African author Nadine Gordimer has passed away, according to her family. The literary icon used her craft to shed light on the social and psychological tensions created by apartheid.

Nadine Gordimer gestorben
Image: picture alliance/Leemage

Nadine Gordimer, outspoken critic of South Africa's policy of racial segregation and prominent literary figure, died at the age of 90, according to her family on Monday. The author had died at her home the previous evening.

The South African drew controversy throughout her career for exploring apartheid in her works of fiction and non-fiction. In 1991, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for producing "magnificent epic writing...[which has] been of very great benefit to humanity."

Gordimer was born to a privileged middle-class white family in 1923 in the South African town of Springs, which lies some 60 kilometers (37 miles) east of Johannesburg. Her literary career began with the publication of a story at the age of 15, which was followed by numerous other short stories.

Her career as a novelist began in 1953 with the release of the partly autobiographical The Lying Days. Over roughly six decades, she wrote 14 more works of fiction.

The South African author won numerous awards, including the Booker Prize for The Conservationist in 1974, and honorary degrees from universities outside of her native country, including Cambridge, Yale, Harvard and the University of Lueven in Belgium. In 2007, she was awarded with the French Legion of Honour.

Gordimer's final work, No Time Like the Present, was published in 2012.

kms/hc (AFP, Reuters, epd)

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