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Cry, the Beloved Country

Alan Paton

Book Basics


Cry, the Beloved Country


Alan Paton


December 1948




Fiction, Novel, Children's Literature


Cry, the Beloved Country is a novel by South African author Alan Paton. It was first published in New York City in 1948 by Charles Scribner's Sons and in London by Jonathan Cape. The protagonist is Stephen Kumalo, a black Anglican priest from a rural Natal town, who is searching for his son Absalom in the city of Johannesburg. The American publisher Bennett Cerf remarked at that year's meeting of the American Booksellers Association that there had been "only three novels published since the first of the year that were worth reading ... Cry, The Beloved Country, The Ides of March, and The Naked and the Dead." Two cinema adaptations of the book have been made, the first in 1951 and the second in 1995. The novel was also adapted as a musical called Lost in the Stars, with a book by the American writer Maxwell Anderson and music composed by the German emigre Kurt Weill. It was recently produced by the Glimmerglass Opera of New York in 2012, directed by Tazewell Thompson.


Stephen Kumalo, John Kumalo, Reverend Msimangu, Absalom Kumalo, James Jarvis

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