In his 1995 autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela said about his time in prison, "I tried to read books about South Africa or by South African writers. I read all the unbanned novels of Nadine Gordimer and learned a great deal about the white liberal sensibility." A year later, Mandela spoke on the role of culture in nation building, saying, "We think of Nadine Gordimer, who won international acclaim as our first winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and whose writing was enriched by the cultural kaleidoscope of our country."
Gordimer and Mandela had been very close friends for almost 50 years. They met through mutual acquaintances. She was friends with George Bizos and Bram Fischer, Mandela's defense attorneys in his 1962 trial. Two years later, she edited the famous three-hour speech that Mandela delivered from the dock of the defendant, now considered one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century. When Mandela was finally freed in 1990, Gordimer was the first person he wanted to see. When Mandela received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, two years after Gordimer won her Literature Nobel, she was at the ceremony. The two lived within walking distance of each other for the last 20 years of their lives.
After Mandela died last December, Gordimer wrote a brilliant obituary in The New Yorker, which began, "To have lived one's life at the same time, and in the same natal country, as Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a guidance and a privilege we South Africans shared."
Less than eight months later, anti-apartheid author and activist Nadine Gordimer joined her BFF Nelson Mandela in Heaven. She was 90 years old. I was the only person to put such a great woman on his AO Deadpool list, so I regretfully accept 7 points.
What, you were expecting a mordant obituary filled with curse words and criticism of current popular music?
"Fuck, fuck, fuck! Justin Bieber can eat a diseased dick!"
There, you happy now?