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Alex La Guma

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Name  Alex Guma

Role  Novelist
Alex La Guma Africana Books Jimmy La GumaA Biography By Alex La Guma
Died  October 11, 1985, Havana, Cuba
Books  A Walk in the Night and Other, In the Fog of the Seasons, Time of the Butcherbird, The stone country, And a Threefold Cord

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Alex La Guma (20 February 1925 – 11 October 1985) was a South African novelist, leader of the South African Coloured People’s Organisation (SACPO) and a defendant in the Treason Trial, whose works helped characterise the movement against the apartheid era in South Africa. La Guma's vivid style, distinctive dialogue, and realistic, sympathetic portrayal of oppressed groups have made him one of the most notable South African writers of the 20th century. La Guma was awarded the 1969 Lotus Prize for Literature.


Alex La Guma Africana Books Jimmy La GumaA Biography By Alex La Guma

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La Guma was born in District Six, Cape Town. He was the son of James La Guma, a leading figure in both the Industrial and Commercial Workers' Union and the South African Communist Party.

La Guma attended Trafalgar High School in District Six in Cape Town. After graduating from a technical school in 1945, he was an active member of the Plant Workers Union of the Metal Box Company. He was fired after organizing a strike, and he became active in politics, joining the Young Communists League in 1947 and the South African Communist Party in 1948.

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In 1956 he helped organise the South Africa representatives who drew up the Freedom Charter, and consequently he was one of the 156 accused at the Treason Trials that same year. He published his first short story, "Nocturn", in 1957. In 1960, he began writing for New Age, a progressive newspaper, and in 1962 he was placed under house arrest. Before his five-year sentence could elapse, A No Trial Act was passed and he and his wife were put into solitary confinement. On their release from prison, they returned to house arrest. He, along with his wife Blanche and their two children, went into exile to the UK in 1966. La Guma spent the rest of his life in exile.

He was chief representative of the African National Congress in the Caribbean at the time of his death Havana, Cuba, in 1985. In 1984, he was appointed Officer of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture.

Although La Guma was an inspiration of and inspired by the growing resistance to apartheid, notably the Black Consciousness Movement, his connection to these groups was indirect.

Notable works

La Guma's works include the following:

  • A Walk in the Night and Other Stories (1962), Ibadan, Nigeria: Mbari.
  • And a Threefold Cord (1964), (East) Berlin, GDR: Seven Seas Publishers.
  • The Stone-Country (1967), (East) Berlin, GDR: Seven Seas Publishers.
  • In the Fog of the Seasons' End (1972), London: Heinemann.
  • A Soviet Journey (1978), Moscow: Progress Publishers.
  • Time of the Butcherbird (1979), London: Heinemann.
  • References

    Alex La Guma Wikipedia

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