Paton, Alan (1903–1988) By Wittenberg, Hermann
Alan Paton, born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, in 1903, is one of South Africa’s most widely read writers. His famous novel, Cry, the Beloved Country (1948), has sold millions of copies world-wide, and remains a classic account of the racial injustice in South Africa and the need for reconciliation between black and white. It has been widely translated, with multiple adaptations for the stage and screen. Following the international success of his novel, Paton used his public reputation to make his mark in liberal politics, opposing the apartheid policies of the Nationalist government. He died in 1988, after a long career as writer and campaigner for freedom and social justice.