The Writer's Life: “When a deep injury is done us, we never recover until we forgive.”
Read more: I had the privilege of interviewing Alan Paton at the BBC in London. His wonderful book, “Cry the Beloved Country,” had long mesmerized me with its lyrical beauty and its deep understanding of a people’s collective pain. If it were possible, he proved almost more inspirational in person. Not tall, he radiated modesty and immense kindness – not merely person-to-person, but for humanity in general. When I asked him (as we walked along a corridor) whether he thought his book had launched civil rights movements everywhere, he stopped and said, “Please don’t put that question to me in the interview. It will make me sound important and I only do what I can.” Several times during the broadcast, his eyes shone with tears as he talked about the beauty of his beloved South Africa – as did my eyes when news of his death came in 1988. He was born in January 1903, making (for me, anyway) every January worthwhile.