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Nadine Gordimer Answers the Un-asked Questions

Nadine Gordimer

Nobel laureate and world-famous author Nadine Gordimer took it upon herself to ask and answer questions journalists have never posed. Here are her eight fascinating questions, which she conjured up at the recent Hay Festival in Wales, UK:

Telling TimesWhat is the most important lack in your life?

I’ve lived that life in Africa without learning an African language. Even in my closest friendships, literary and political activities with black fellow South Africans, they speak only English with me. If they’re conversing together in one of their mother tongues (and all speak at least three or four of each other’s), I don’t understand more than a few words that have passed into our common South African use of English. So I’m deaf to an essential part of the South African culture to which I’m committed and belong.

What’s the most blatant lie you’ve ever told?

Really can’t distinguish. Living through apartheid under Secret Police surveillance made those of us who opposed the regime actively, accomplished liars. You lied that you didn’t know the whereabouts of someone the police were looking to arrest, you lied about your encounters and movements; had to, in order to protect others and yourself.

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