— Maya Angelou (1928-2014)
Image: South African novelist Nadine Gordimer poses during the 2006 Rome literature festival. (Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images)
Nadine Gordimer, a Nobel Prize-winning author famed for her portrayals of South Africa under apartheid, died Sunday, her family said in a statement. She was 90.
Gordimer was considered a modern literary genius, an important chronicler of the injustices of racial segregation. Three of her books were banned during apartheid.
"They showed how people were living here," Gordimer said in an NPR interview last year. “They showed what influences were shaping our lives. And they showed the many different reactions to it among different people here.”
More on Gordimer’s legacy here.
“Nothing needs to happen to a writer’s life after they are twenty. By then they’ve experienced more than enough to last their creative life.” – Flannery O’Connor
One of our lovely interns, Rachel Jelinek, explores whether or not she agrees with this fascinating Flannery O’Connor quote in one of our latest blog posts, which you can check out here on the TMR blog.
What do you think about the experiences we have and how they affect writing? Do we need a whole lifetime’s worth of experiences in order to write well?
Inspired by UK Ed Secretary Michael Gove’s decision to remove several classics from the nation’s required reading list, both Michael and Alison have been reminiscing about the good, the bad, and the ugly of their high school reading lists at the TMR blog. Check it out and tell us about your memories of required reading in high school!
The Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop regularly partners with TMR to bring the “Literature on Lockdown” series to our blog. We like them a lot and so should you! Please consider donating to help them become a non-profit organization. Read more about it on the TMR blog or hit the link above to donate! Even if you are not able to give, please help us signal boost this worthy cause!
"The only answer that most of Dick’s protagonists are able to give to the titular question of this track at the end of his works is Hell if I know. Good thing you won’t have to worry about anything as heady as that as you jump onto the freeway at midnight as this curls out of the stereo making you feel at least 120% cooler about yourselves than you actually are…it’s just got that kind of power."
- Wes Hazard, “So You’re Picking Up Philip K. Dick from the Airport” TMR Blog
— "Devil’s Bait" from The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison
Maya Angelou, 1928-2014
"We’re talking about a medium that so regularly kills, maims, or otherwise devalues female characters in order to advance the journey of a man that there’s shorthand for it that’s migrated into other mediums. Comic books are so well known for “fridging” women that it’s a joke at this point, with countless parodies and satirical pieces based on it. We’re talking about an industry that really doesn’t seem to understand it’s own demographics a lot of the time, and feels a little lost.”
— Caitlin Rosberg,”Changing Demographics in Comics mean Women aren’t Content Being Fridged”
ll winter the statue stood handless—
her arms clubbed off by three men
the surveillance tape could not identify.
Marble robes still spilled around her
like water. She still bent her head,
eyes cast down, the way my mother,
when the school nurse sent news
of the outbreak, bent to her task:
snapped latex on her hands,
lifted a comb to search my hair,
coated the strands in chemicals
to suffocate the egg sacs, to kill
the mother-lice—their thoraxes
fat chalices swollen with wine—
drunk on the chance for their children
to live. Later, she would warn me about
the lacrosse boy I liked: he will use you
and leave you, and I would resent her
and ignore her. In the Scripture I love best,
the Canaanite woman won’t leave Christ
alone until he drives out her daughter’s
demons. After my scalp was clean,
my mother braided my hair.
That spring, we wove a wreath, crowned
the woman, still handless, in hawthorn.
— This week’s poem is Jennifer Luebbers’ “Ave”.
— Q Lindsey Barrett, “Writing Beyond Good: Crafting Memorable Characters”