Alan Paton

Alan Paton (pā´tən), 1903–88, South African novelist. A devoted leader in the struggle to end the oppression of the South African blacks, he served (1935–47) as principal of the Diepkloof Reformatory (near Johannesburg) for delinquent boys, where he instituted many reforms. After the publication of his first novel, Cry, the Beloved Country (1948), he became active in South African political affairs. He helped form the Liberal Association of South Africa, which later emerged as a political party. Paton's fiction, written with simplicity and compassion, reflects the deep conflicts that continue to exist in South Africa today. His second novel, Too Late the Phalarope, appeared in 1953, and Tales from a Troubled Land, a collection of short stories, in 1961. Among his other works are South Africa in Transition (1956); Hope for South Africa (1958); The Long View (1968), a volume of essays; and For You Departed (1969), a memoir and tribute to his wife. Maxwell Anderson's play Lost in the Stars (1948) was based on Cry, the Beloved Country.

See biography by P. F. Alexander (1995).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Alan Paton: Selected full-text books and articles

Tales from a Troubled Land By Alan Paton Charles Scribner's Sons, 1961
Hope for South Africa By Alan Paton Pall Mall Press, 1958
Return to Paton's Place By Adler, Tony American Theatre, Vol. 10, No. 7-8, July-August 1993
A Far Cry: The Making of a South African By Mary Benson Viking, 1989
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Alan Paton"
The Writer Observed By Harvey Breit World Publishing, 1956
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Alan Paton begins on p. 89
A Book of South African Verse By Guy Butler Oxford University Press, 1959
Librarian’s tip: "Sanna" begins on p. 67, "The Discardment" begins on p. 68, "Samuel" begins on p. 69, and "To a Small Boy Who Died at Diepkloof Reformatory" begins on p. 71
Southern African Literatures By Michael Chapman Longman, 1996
Librarian’s tip: "Novels against Apartheid: Abrahams, Paton" begins on p. 228
Strategies of Transformation toward a Multicultural Society: Fulfilling the Story of Democracy By David T. Abalos Praeger Publishers, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Alan Paton begins on p. 59
Encyclopedia of African Literature By Simon Gikandi Routledge, 2003
Librarian’s tip: "Paton, Alan Stewart" begins on p. 432
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