In 1970, Nadine Gordimer was just five novels and five volumes of short stories into a celebrated career that eventually saw her win the Nobel Prize in Literature. WWD looks back at an interview about her then-new novel, “A Guest of Honour,” and culled some of her most pithy lines. The author died Sunday at the age of 90 in South Africa.

“It’s amazing how dead books are once they are written.”

This story first appeared in the July 15, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“We live with politics on intimate and personal terms. In South Africa, apartheid as a way of life can not continue forever, time is on the people’s side or, as the black men say, ‘Time is longer than rope.’ Today I abhor the color bar, so in a sense I am politicized.”

“Creative writing courses — I don’t have much faith in them. You can’t make a good writer.”

“I dislike the idea of visitors of Africa using it as a playground. They should stop looking at it as a zoo and really see the people.”

“I like to take holidays with my husband and go stomping around the country. My impulses are to go to hard-to-get-to places.”

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