She died in Johannesburg, her family announced in a statement Sunday.
Gordimer published over 20 novels, essays and short stories. Three novels -- A World of Strangers, The Late Bourgeois World, and Burger's Daughter, were banned, for 12 years in the case of A World of Strangers, for their depictions of South Africa's racial segregation policies. She received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1991, the year apartheid laws were repealed.
Although she claimed, "I am not political by nature," her books explored the inequalities of life in her country. Her 1983 short story "A Chip of Glass Ruby" involved an Indian Muslim household, and the novel My Son's Story, published in 1990, featured a character of mixed race. And in The Conservationist, written in 1974 and winner of the Booker Prize, a white male was the protagonist.