Achmat-Dangor-South-AfricaAchmat Dangor is a novelist and poet who has been passionately involved in South Africa's cultural life for many years. In the early seventies, while studying at Grahamstown's Rhodes University, he helped found a cultural group called Black Thoughts that sought to disseminate radical Black consciousness ideas through literature, music and theatre. This earned him a five year banning order in 1973, along with 13 other writers. Ironically, Dangor now sees this period of enforced isolation and introspection as a valuable time which allowed him to "write, write, write". "I couldn't write, I couldn't attend social gatherings," he said. "The order banned me from publishing and preparing anything for publication. But I wrote in secret." In the 1980s Dangor was one of the founder members of the Congress of South African writers, and from 1986 - 1991 he was founding executive director of the Kagiso Trust, working alongside prominent political and church leaders. During 1992 he lectured South African literature and creative writing at City College's Harlem Campus in New York. Throughout his varied life, which included working as Chief Executive Officer of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, he continued to write and has published 6 works of fiction and poetry, which have been translated into five languages, including Hebrew. Achmat Dangor is currently Director: Urban and Rural Development of the Independent Development Trust, and lives between New York and Johannesburg. He is currently working on his latest book.

 

Publications:

Private Voices (poetry), COSAW, 1993

Bulldozer (poetry), Ravan Press, 1989

Z Town Trilogy, Ravan Press, 1992

Waiting for Leila, Ravan Press, 1995

Kafka's Curse, Kwela Press, 1999 (Revised edition published by Random House, USA, 2000)

Bitter Fruit, Kwela Press, 2001