born: 1/11/1903 died: 4/12/1988 born as: Alan Stewart Paton
South African writer best known for his first novel, Cry, the Beloved Country (1948), which brought international attention to the issue of apartheid. - Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature
Many critics consider his second novel, Too Late the Phalarope, even better than his first, and in the mid-1950s Paton's name was bandied about as an up-and-coming contender for the Nobel Prize. But the international success of Cry left him financially free to pursue his interest in progressive politics. He helped to form and then lead his nation's Liberal Party as a non-racial alternative to apartheid, and from then on spent more time as a politician advocating social change than as an author. The Liberal Party was officially banned by South Africa in 1968.