Image via VENITISM
Not many people here know or probably even care who Nadine Gordimer is...well...was. I was introduced to her my Freshman or Sophomore year in college, and being an idealist by nature, I met in her shorts stories and novels someone that I thought could not only change the world but could show me how to do so as well.
I was saddened by her passing. The world is a little quieter today.
Through Ms. Gordimer’s work, international readers learned the human effects of the “color bar” and the punishing laws that systematically sealed off each avenue of contact among races. Her books are rich with terror: The fear of the security forces pounding on the door in the middle of the night is real, and freedom is impossible. Even the political prisoner released from jail is immediately rearrested after experiencing the briefest illusion of returning to the world.
Critics have described the whole of her work as constituting a social history as told through finely drawn portraits of the characters who peopled it.
Ms. Gordimer told little about her own life, preferring to explore the intricacies of the mind and heart in those of her characters. “It is the significance of detail wherein the truth lies,” she once said.
But some critics saw in her fiction a theme of personal as well as political liberation, reflecting her struggles growing up under the possessive, controlling watch of a mother trapped in an unhappy marriage.
Via the New York Times