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Achmat Dangor
Johannesburg Oct. 1948 • South African poet, playwright and novelist

photo: Serge Ligtenberg

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Achmat Dangor was born in Johannesburg in 1948, and after high school, lived in several small rural South African towns. He studied literature at Rhodes University, and has published two poetry collections: Bulldozer (1983) and Private Voices (1992). His first three novels were Waiting for Leila (1981), The Z Town Trilogy (1990), and Kafka's Curse (1997).

His latest novel, Bitter Fruit (2003), was shortlisted for the 2003 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the 2004 Man
Booker Prize for Fiction. It tells the story of Silas and Lydia Ali, a couple of mixed-race ancestry, and their son, and is set in post-apartheid South Africa.

Achmat Dangor is an active development professional and has headed up various non governmental organisation in South Africa, including the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. He is currently Director of Advocacy & Communications at the Joint United Nations Program on AIDS (UNAIDS) and lives in Geneva, Switzerland.


Bitter Fruit
–› Excerpt

Johannesburg, 1992. This is the story of Silas and Lydia, and especially of their son Mikey, a university student with a curious mind and a calculating will, as their relationships fracture and their lives go off in new and surprising directions.
Kafka's Curse
Set in South Africa during the final unravelling of apartheid, a retelling of an ancient Arabic legend follows Oscar Khan's love for a woman outside his race and religion, an affair that leads to tragedy and alienation, as his unforgiving brother struggles to come to terms with Oscar's apostasy.
The Z Town Trilogy
A novel set in a South African township, Z Town during a State of Emergency. The author describes the affect of major political debacles on the ordinary lives of South Africans.
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