Alan Paton

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Alan Stewart Paton (1903-1988). Writer, teacher, reformatory principal, influential novelist and anti-apartheid activist. Best known for his seminal novel Cry, the Beloved Country (1948).


He was born in Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu Natal on 11 January 1903. He was formerly the principal of a boys' reformatory school in Johannesburg. He was a founder member of the Liberal Party and its leader between 1955 and its dissilusion in 1968. He died in Durban on 12 April 1988.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

His novel Cry, the Beloved Country (1948) became an internationally acclaimed work, and has been adapted to stage and screen a number of times under its original title, but also as a musical titled Lost in the Stars (by Maxwell Anderson with music by Kurt Weill, 1949).

He also collaborated on a number of other theartrical projects, including:


South African History Online [1].

Wikipedia [2].

Tucker, 1997.

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