Cry, the Beloved Country

Alan Paton

Alan Paton 1903-1988

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Notable Facts:
  • Born in the Natal Province of Pietermaritzburg, South Africa in 1903
  • Went to college in Pietermaritzburg
  • Studied Physics but spent many hours devoted to poetry
  • Wrote essays for liberal South African magazines similar to his own character Arthur Jarvis, during his middle years
  • Initially pursued a career in educating the rich, yet had a revelation after an enteric fever
  • Received a job at Diepkloof Reformatory due to his admiration for Jan Hendrik Hofmeyr
  • Transformed Diepkloof Reformatory, and remained there for ten years
  • Feeling he needed a changed, Paton sold his life insurance and embarked on a journey around the world
  • First began writing Cry, the Beloved Country after meeting a stranger in Norway
  • Continued writing it as he traveled ( he never had it completely planned out!)
  • Eventually published Cry, the Beloved Country in 1948, by Charles Scribner's Sons, in San Francisco
  • This novel eventually became the highlight of Paton's career and one of South Africa's most important novels
  • Paton passed away in 1988, in South Africa

Information Gathered by: Simon & Schuster