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Cry, The Beloved Country

Posted - Dec. 1, 2003 at 7:24 a.m.



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Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton

"Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that is the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers, nor stand too silent when the setting sun makes red the veld with fire. Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing, nor give too much of his heart to a mounatin or a valley. For fear will rob him of all if he gives too much."

Oh - the poetry of this novel! Cry, the Beloved Country, is an extraordinary story of forgiveness in South Africa. Written in 1948, it is the story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo, his son Absalom, and a white man named Jarvis. The tragedy of their sons brings them together in a way that would destroy weaker hearts, but for these men of strength and spirit, it leads only to love. The author writes, "there is only one thing that has power completely, and that is love. Because when a man loves, he seeks no power, and therefore he has power."

Cry, the Beloved Country is set in a black man's country under a white man's law, and the pages are filled with the racial injustice that was reality for the people of that unforgettable place at that time. There are moments when reading the book that you will feel the unforgiving heat, see the vistas at sunrise that make you want to weep, feel the valleys stretch out before you as if you were seeing forever. This novel is so beautiful. I don't know how else to describe it.

I am grateful to Oprah for renewing interest in the classics through her reincarnated book club. Cry, the Beloved Country is her newest selection to make the paperback bestseller list. Renew your spirit and your love of literature with Alan Paton's timeless work, Cry the Beloved Country. On the Book Beat for KSL Newsradio 1160, I'm Amanda Dickson.

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