Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Achebe Family Mourns Nadine Gordimer


























*Nadine Gordimer 
(pix:southafrica.usembassy)

The family of late literary icon, Prof Chinua Achebe, has joined the rest of the world to mourn Nadine Godimer, a leading South African writer and Nobel Laureate, who passed away in Johannesburg on July 13, 2014, at the age of  90. In a statement issued on July 20 and signed by Professor Christie Chinwe Achebe for the Chinua Achebe Family and Estate, the Achebe family  said it was joining "the world in mourning the passing of Nadine Gordimer" whom it described as a "precious friend, great supporter of African arts and letters [and] an elegant soul..." 
The Statement said further: "...we have lost one of Africa's truly important writers and treasured spokespersons.  Nadine will be missed, though we can rejoice that her tough, fighting spirit is at peace, and that her powerful legacy will grow from strength to strength.” 
Although an accomplished and globally acclaimed writer herself, Gordimer remained a great, enthusiastic fan of Achebe's work. Following Achebe’s announcement as the winner of the 2007 Man Booker Prize, Nadine Gordimer referred to him as the “father of modern African literature,” an appellation that had already attained considerable prominence among many Achebe's readers and scholars across the world.  

Achebe, however, rejected the title. And in an interview with Brown Daily Herald, he explained why: “I resisted that very, very strongly. It's really a serious belief (of mine) that it's risky for anyone to lay claim to something as huge and important as African literature ... the contribution made down the ages. I don't want to be singled out as the one behind it because there were many of us — many, many of us.”


















*Chinua Achebe

Also, a day after Achebe's death (on March 21, 2013) in Boston, Massachusetts, Nadine Gordimer in an article published in the The Guardian (London) paid him a glowing tribute

And on the cover of Chinua Achebe's last book, There Was A Country: A Personal History Of Biafra, Nadine Gordimer penned the following comment: 
"Chinua Achebe’s history of Biafra is a meditation on the condition of freedom. It has the tense narrative grip of the best fiction. It is also a revelatory entry into the intimate character of the writer’s brilliant mind and bold spirit. Achebe has created here a new genre of literature in which politico-historical evidence, the power of storytelling, and revelations from the depths of the human subconscious are one. The event of a new work by Chinua Achebe is always extraordinary; this one exceeds all expectations.”    
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