Cry, the Beloved Country
By Alan Paton
I read this searing book about apartheid in South Africa when I was in high school. It informed a whole generation's understanding of life in that country. Foreigners didn't know how South African families could become separated from one another, how the tribal life had been destroyed, or how the countryside couldn't support villagers. People weren't aware of the potential for violence over there. Paton's story about a black, country pastor who travels to Johannesburg in search of his wayward son, who has murdered a white man, is riveting.