Alan Paton — teacher, author, and politician — was one of South Africas most
remarkable people. Repelled by the racism he saw all around him in his homeland, he wrote Cry, the Beloved Country, the book that had the most profound effect in the worldwide struggle against apartheid. It is in this book, that he portrayed his life through so many characters and scenes to give the best explanation possible for his fight for justice and equality. This book remains one of South Africa?s greatest novels. It is a true-life portrait of its author, Alan Paton.
Alan Paton was born in 1903 in Pietermaritzburg, Natal. He was the oldest of four children and the son of Eunice and James Paton. He was taught to read and write before he started school and as a result he was rapidly advanced all throughout his school years. At the age of fifteen he was starting his college education for a science degree in teaching. After receiving his degree, he was sent to a small farming town of Ixopo, as a housemaster at the high school there. Ixopo would later become increasing familiar in his book, Cry, the
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