Death of Nadine Gordimer: Nobel Laureate, Writer and Political Activist Aged 90. On the many 'Death Of' threads which frequently appear on this sub-section of the forum, I continue to be astonished at the references to celebrities I have never heard of (okay, I am not from the US, and not immersed in the admiration of many of the icons of modern US culture), while, at the same time, the deaths of giants of literature and politics - and sometimes, someone who lived a life which effortlessly straddled both with courage, dignity, aplomb, and boundless creative gifts as Nadine Gordimer did - passes without comment on these threads. Nadine Gordimer was one of those incredibly gifted, sensitive and courageous individuals who wrote with often savage yet subtle insight about South Africa where she grew up, and lived, during the years of apartheid. While brought up in a relatively comfortable background, the fact that she was Jewish, and female, as well as white, gave her an unusual perspective from which to interrogate and dissect the society she wrote about with such devastating insight. She was one of the 'liberal (Jewish) whites' in the dark days of the apartheid regime. Inevitably, her observations, and her writing led her into political activism as she sought to challenge both apartheid and the dark attitudes assumptions and laws which buttressed this rotten belief system. Indeed, she came to view the role of a writer seeking to change society as the challenge 'to write as well as you can' - while her political activism led her to become friendly with Nelson Mandela's defence team (and, inevitably, with Nelson Mandela himself) when he was on trial in the early 1960s, assistance she rendered in the form of helping to edit his justly famous speech from the dock which he delivered prior to his incarceration in Robben Island. She was one of the first people that Mr Mandela wished to meet on his release from prison. Her political activism went well beyond seeking to challenge apartheid, and she fought long in favour of the classical liberal values which underpin functioning democratic societies, in South Africa post apartheid, in the US, and elsewhere. A woman of courage, integrity, and genuinely committed to the liberal values of freedom of expression, assembly, and the idea that one's inherent and inalienable right to rights are based on the fact that one is born human, she was also a prodigiously gifted writer with an exquisite and meticulous prose style. She won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991, and I had the wonderful privilege of attending a public reading which she gave on a European tour in the mid 1990s. RIP Nadine Gordimer.