I'll Take Helen Suzman Over Nadine Gordimer Any Day
April 29, 2008
Nadine Gordimer is, at 84 years, still an elegant lady. She is also a Nobel Laureate in Literature and so some people hope that she does and others hope that she doesn't come to a writers's conference or not. Especially if the conference is in Israel and coincides with the 60th anniversary of its independence. Frankly, I couldn't care less whether she chose to attend the conclave. Israel's literary reputation does not hang on her participation. It has enough moral spirits who write with incandescent words to do without her.
'bollinger V. Suzman'
September 28, 2007
Lee Bollinger clearly considers himself to be a hero. It was so evident in his preening, faux-heroic speech on Monday, in which the Columbia University president valiantly told a Holocaust-denying, homosexual-murdering, genocide-inciting dictator "You exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator." What courage. Several days ago, I received the following message from Helen Suzman, the legendary South African parliamentarian who spent 36 years in office opposing apartheid, often as the only voice of reason in that body.
Who Is Helen Suzman?
November 07, 2006
Well, I suppose that some of us do remember Helen Suzman. She was the leader of the South African Progressive Party and served, for 36 years, as one of its elected representatives in Parliament--13 of these years as its only elected representative. She also traveled the world to alert people to the unspeakable horrors of apartheid. And to project a future an inevitable and beneficent future in which black people would govern. So what does she, at the age of 90 and still intellectually agile, think now? And others who joined the good, if not altogether untarnished, fight?
July 12, 1999
South Africa's second post-apartheid general election, held several weeks ago, turned into quite an intriguing affair, although you would hardly know it from the American press. The media focused on Nelson Mandela's retirement and his replacement by faithful lieutenant Thabo Mbeki--a story line that fits the fairy-tale narrative into which post-apartheid South Africa is so often shoehorned. But, on the ground, real politics were taking place. In particular, the National Party, the party of F.W. de Klerk and of 50 years of apartheid, collapsed.