The finest novel I have ever read about the tragic plight of black-skinned people in a white man's world is Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton. [Paton writes] without any of the blind rage which leads so many writers on similar themes into bitterness and dogmatism, without any of the customary over-simplification and exaggerated melodrama....
Orville Prescott - New York Times (2/2/1948)
The greatest novel to emerge out of the tragedy of South Africa, and one of the best novels of our time.
The New Republic
Cry, The Beloved Country...was the great raiser of popular awareness of South Africa...the most influential South African novel ever written.
Nadine Gordimer - The Observer
In search of missing family members, Zulu priest Stephen Kumalo leaves his South African village to traverse the deep and perplexing city of Johannesburg in the 1940s. With his sister turned prostitute, his brother turned labor protestor and his son, Absalom, arrested for the murder of a white man, Kumalo must grapple with how to bring his family back from the brink of destruction as the racial tension throughout Johannesburg hampers his attempts to protect his family. With a deep yet gentle voice rounded out by his English accent, Michael York captures the tone and energy of this novel. His rhythmic narration proves hypnotizing. From the fierce love of Kumalo to the persuasive rhetoric of Kumalo's brother and the solemn regret of Absalom, York injects soul into characters tempered by their socioeconomic status as black South Africans.
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