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Alan Paton (1903—1988) writer, educationist, and politician


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Cry, the Beloved Country

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A novel by Alan Paton, published 1948. Paton (1903–88) was educated at the University of Natal, and was National President of the South African Liberal Party until it was declared illegal in 1968.

The Revd Stephen Kumalo sets off from his impoverished homeland at Ndotasheni, Natal, for Johannesburg, in search of his sister Gertrude and his son Absalom. He finds Gertrude has turned to prostitution, and Absalom has murdered the son of a white farmer, James Jarvis. Absalom is convicted and condemned to death, and Kumalo returns home with Gertrude's son and Absalom's pregnant wife. The novel ends with the reconciliation of Jarvis and Kumalo, and Jarvis's determination to rise above tragedy by helping the poor black community.

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