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Alan Paton

  • African novelist
  • Born January 11, 1903
  • Died April 12, 1988

Alan Stewart Paton (11 January 1903 – 12 April 1988) was a South African author and anti-apartheid activist. His works include the novels Cry, the Beloved Country and Too Late the Phalarope.


If you wrote a novel in South Africa which didn't concern the central issues, it wouldn't be worth publishing.




But the one thing that has power completely is love, because when a man loves, he seeks no power, and therefore he has power.




There is only one way in which one can endure man's inhumanity to man and that is to try, in one's own life, to exemplify man's humanity to man.




Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that is the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply... For fear will rob him of all if he gives too much.




What broke in a man when he could bring himself to kill another?




When a deep injury is done us, we never recover until we forgive.




To give up the task of reforming society is to give up one's responsibility as a free man.




I envision someday a great, peaceful South Africa in which the world will take pride, a nation in which each of many different groups will be making its own creative contribution.




God forgives us... who am I not to forgive?




Who knows for what we live, and struggle, and die? Wise men write many books, in words too hard to understand. But this, the purpose of our lives, the end of all our struggle, is beyond all human wisdom.




You ask yourself not if this or that is expedient, but if it is right.



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