RIP, Nadine Gordimer


The great South African writer and anti-apartheid activist Nadine Gordimer has died at the age of 90, in the presence of her children at her Johannesburg home. The last piece she published was a remembrance of her friend Nelson Mandela (whose “I Am Prepared To Die” speech she edited) at the New Yorker, the magazine that ran Gordimer’s first short story in 1951. Gordimer’s particular, steely, unwavering sense of individualism and morality permeates every line in her considerable body of work, and I find this 2012 Q&A at the Guardian quite affecting:

When did you last cry, and why?
I don’t cry. Unfortunately, I seem rather short of tears, so my sorrows have to stay inside me.

What keeps you awake at night?
Nothing. I am a good sleeper.

How would you like to be remembered?
Let me be forgotten.

Where would you most like to be right now?
Right where I am, in my house in Johannesburg with my weimaraner dog, Bodo, beside me.

Let me be forgotten. [Guardian]