22/01/2017 13:24 SAST | Updated 22/01/2017 14:08 SAST

RIP: Before Alan Paton and Nadine Gordimer There Was Peter Abrahams

Abrahams died in his adopted country of Jamaica.


One of South Africa's first acclaimed black writers, Peter Abrahams, has died. He was 97.

His death on 18 January was first reported by the Jamaican newspaper the Gleaner.

Abrahams was one of the first ever writers to criticise the Apartheid government and did so prominently in his novel Mine Boy. He led the way for writers such as Alan Paton and Nadine Gordimer as one of the earliest and most impassioned critics of apartheid.

The Washington Post reported that the author died in his adopted country of Jamaica. He went into exile at the age of 20, and lived in England and France before settling in Jamaica.

According to the report, he published his first collection of stories, Dark Testament, in 1942 and secured his literary reputation with Mine Boy, which described the struggle of Xuma, a black worker in South Africa's diamond mines and his growing political awareness.

Abrahams went on to write more than 10 volumes of fiction and autobiography, most of which dealt with the problems of South Africa, including interracial love, the site reported.

He is survived by his wife of 68 years Daphne Miller and their three children.