Friday, July 25 2014 4:44 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:44:48 GMT
Police have arrested the foster parent of a 10-month-old girl who died after being left inside a hot car in Wichita, Kansas.More >>
A 10-month-old Kansas girl died after being strapped for more than two hours inside a sweltering car, and police arrested a foster parent who said he'd forgotten about her until something on TV jogged his memory, an...More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 4:10 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:10:32 GMT
Two men forced a woman into the backseat of her vehicle at gunpoint, drove off but later lost control and plowed into a group of people on a corner near a fruit stand in Philadelphia on Friday, police said. Two...More >>
Two men forced a woman into the backseat of her sport utility vehicle at gunpoint, drove off but later lost control and plowed into a group of people on a corner near a fruit stand in Philadelphia on Friday, police said....More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 3:56 PM EDT2014-07-25 19:56:06 GMT
A U.S. science advisory report says a key lesson from Japan's Fukushima nuclear accident is that the nation's nuclear industry needs to focus more on the highly unlikely but super-serious worst case scenarios.More >>
A U.S. science advisory report says Japan's Fukushima nuclear accident offers a key lesson to the nation's nuclear industry: Focus more on the highly unlikely but worst case scenarios.More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 3:23 PM EDT2014-07-25 19:23:40 GMT
The Ohio State marching band is moving forward without its director; a day after he was fired they're performing with the Columbus Symphony in what's often considered the band's unofficial season kickoff.More >>
The fired director of Ohio State University's celebrated marching band said through his attorney Friday that he has become a scapegoat for behavior occurring within the organization before his leadership and he'll...More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 2:57 PM EDT2014-07-25 18:57:26 GMT
A man who authorities say fatally shot a caseworker at a hospital complex near Philadelphia and was then shot by his psychiatrist remains listed in critical condition.More >>
A psychiatric patient ranted about a hospital gun ban before opening fire at the suburban medical complex, killing his caseworker and grazing his psychiatrist before the doctor pulled out his own weapon and fired back,...More >>
By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA Associated Press
JOHANNESBURG (AP) - Nadine Gordimer was first a writer of fiction and a defender of creativity and expression. But as a white South African who hated apartheid's dehumanization of blacks, she was also a determined political activist in the struggle to end white minority rule in her country.
Gordimer, who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1991 for novels that explored the complex relationships and human cost of racial conflict in apartheid-era South Africa, died peacefully in her sleep at her home in Johannesburg on Sunday. She was 90 years old. Her son Hugo and daughter Oriane were with her at the time, Gordimer's family said in a statement Monday.
The author wrote 15 novels as well as several volumes of short stories, non-fiction and other works, and was published in 40 languages around the world, according to the family.
"She cared most deeply about South Africa, its culture, its people, and its ongoing struggle to realize its new democracy," the family said. Her "proudest days" included winning the Nobel prize and testifying in the 1980s on behalf of a group of anti-apartheid activists who had been accused of treason, they said.
Per Wastberg, an author and member of the Nobel Prize-awarding Swedish Academy, said Gordimer's descriptions of the different faces of racism told the world about South Africa during apartheid.
"She concentrated on individuals, she portrayed humans of all kinds," said Wastberg, a close friend. "Many South African authors and artists went into exile, but she felt she had to be a witness to what was going on and also lend her voice to the black, silenced authors."
Gordimer struggled with arthritis and rheumatism but seemed to be in good spirits when they last spoke three weeks ago, he said.
"Our country has lost an unmatched literary giant whose life's work was our mirror and an unending quest for humanity," South Africa's ruling party, the African National Congress, said in a statement.
Prof. Adam Habib, vice-chancellor and principal of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, described Gordimer as a "revered intellect."
During apartheid, Gordimer praised Nelson Mandela, the prisoner who later became president, and accepted the decision of the main anti-apartheid movement to use violence against South Africa's white-led government.
"Having lived here for 65 years," she said, "I am well aware for how long black people refrained from violence. We white people are responsible for it."
Gordimer grew up in Springs town, the daughter of Jewish immigrants from Britain and Lithuania. She began writing at age 9, and kept writing well into her 80s.
She said her first "adult story," published in a literary magazine when she was 15, grew out of her reaction as a young child to watching the casual humiliation of blacks. She recalled blacks being barred from touching clothes before buying in shops in her hometown, and police searching the maid's quarters at the Gordimer home for alcohol, which blacks were not allowed to possess.
That "began to make me think about the way we lived, and why we lived like that, and who were we," she said in a 2006 interview for the Nobel organization.
In the same interview, she bristled at the suggestion that confronting the human cost of apartheid made her a writer.
"If you're going to be a writer, you can make the death of canary important," said Gordimer, a small and elegant figure. "You can connect it to the whole chain of life, and the mystery of life. To me, what is the purpose of life? It is really to explain the mystery of life."
She said she resisted autobiography, asserting that journalistic research played no part in her creative process.
"Telling Times," a 2010 collection of her nonfiction writing dating to 1950, offers some glimpses of her own experience. She wrote in a 1963 essay of a meeting with a poet giving her an idea of a life beyond her small home town and her then aimless existence.
Gordimer's first novel, "The Lying Days," appeared in 1953, and she acknowledged that it had autobiographical elements. A New York Times reviewer compared it to Alan Paton's "Cry the Beloved Country," saying Gordimer's work "is the longer, the richer, intellectually the more exciting."
She won the Booker Prize in 1974 for "The Conservationist," a novel about a white South African who loses everything.
Among Gordimer's best-known novels is "Burger's Daughter," which appeared in 1979, three years after the Soweto student uprising brought the brutality of apartheid to the world's attention.
Some readers believe the family at its center is that of Bram Fischer, a lawyer who broke with his conservative Afrikaner roots to embrace socialism and fight apartheid. The story is salted with real events and names - including Fischer's. The main character is a young woman on the periphery of a famous family who must come to terms with her legacy and her homeland.
Her 1987 novel, "A Sport of Nature," prophesized the end of apartheid and included a liberation leader based on Mandela.
"Gordimer writes with intense immediacy about the extremely complicated personal and social relationships in her environment," the Nobel committee said on awarding the literature prize in 1991.
In her Nobel acceptance speech, Gordimer said that as a young artist, she agonized that she was cut off from "the world of ideas" by the isolation of apartheid. But she came to understand "that what we had to do to find the world was to enter our own world fully, first. We had to enter through the tragedy of our own particular place."
After the first all-race election in 1994, Gordimer wrote about the efforts of South Africa's new democracy to grapple with its racist legacy. She remained politically engaged, praising South Africa for the progress it had made, but expressing concern about alleged backsliding on freedom of expression.
"People died for our freedoms," Gordimer, who had had works banned by the apartheid government, told The Associated Press in a 2010 interview. "People spent years and years in prison, from the great Nelson Mandela down through many others."
Associated Press reporter Malin Rising contributed to this report from Stockholm.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Friday, July 25 2014 4:43 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:43:58 GMT
President Barack Obama is summoning Central American leaders to the White House to discuss the influx of young immigrants from their countries to the U.S., hoping to show presidential action even as Congress...More >>
Pressing for action on Friday, President Barack Obama urged Central American presidents and congressional Republicans at home to help ease the influx of minors and migrant families crossing the southwest border of the U.S.More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 4:35 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:35:39 GMT
French officials say that the wreckage of an Air Algeria plane which crashed with 116 people aboard has been found in Mali.More >>
Aviation experts, criminal investigators and soldiers began converging Friday on an isolated patch of restive Mali to search for clues that might explain why an Air Algerie jetliner fell from the sky in a storm and...More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 4:25 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:25:42 GMT
An Israeli defense official says the Security Cabinet is meeting to discuss international cease-fire efforts, but also the option of expanding its eight-day-old ground operation in Gaza.More >>
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that more work was needed to reach a deal between Israel and Hamas for a seven-day truce in the Gaza war. Israel's defense minister warned that the military may soon...More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 4:14 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:14:32 GMT
The Ukrainian army has reported rebel attacks overnight throughout the restive east, claiming that at one border crossing the rebels were supported by artillery fire from the Russian side.More >>
Russia is launching artillery attacks from its soil on Ukrainian troops and preparing to move heavier weaponry across the border, the U.S. and Ukraine charged Friday in what appeared to be an ominous escalation of the crisis.More >>
Friday, July 25 2014 3:10 PM EDT2014-07-25 19:10:38 GMT
The third Gaza war is playing out much like the first one more than five years ago: The harrowing civilian toll in Gaza is now at the center of the discourse, eclipsing the rocket attacks by Hamas militants that...More >>
The third Gaza war is playing out much like the first one more than five years ago: The harrowing civilian toll in Gaza is now at the center of the discourse, eclipsing the rocket attacks by Hamas militants that were the...More >>