Colin Gardner, emeritus professor of English and board member of the Alan Paton Center at the University of Natal in Pietermaritzburg, is a Paton scholar and was a friend and political colleague of the author.
Peter F. Alexander was educated at the universities of the Witwatersrand, Leeds and Cambridge. He has written biographies of Alan Paton, Roy Campbell, William Plomer and Leonard and Virginia Woolf. He has also edited a four-volume edition of all Campbell's writing. His latest book is a biography of the poet Les Murray. Currently Professor of English at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, he is married to the Brontë scholar Christine Alexander, and they have two children.
Rita Barnard, who has a Ph.D. from Duke University, is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Comparative Literature Program at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She was born in South Africa and grew up in Pretoria, a city not far from Johannesburg (where part of Cry, The Beloved Country is set). She teaches courses on South African literature to both graduate and undergraduate students, and will soon be publishing a book on the subject with Oxford University Press. She has written many articles on South African writers, including the poet Jeremy Cronin and the novelists Zakes Mda, Nadine Gordimer, J.M. Coetzee, and Mark Behr. In addition to her scholarly work, she enjoys running and listening to music, especially music by African artists like Habib Koité, Ali Farka Toure, Salif Keita, and Orchestra Baobab.
Edward Callan was born in Ireland and educated there as well as in England, South Africa, and the United States. He studied and taught in South Africa between 1937 and 1949, and served with the South African Field Artillery in North Africa and Italy in World War II. After the war he earned advanced degrees at South African and American universities. He first met Alan Paton in 1948 and became a lifelong friend.
Dr. Callan came to the United States in 1952. He is an emeritus professor of English at Western Michigan University and has written extensively on Cry, the Beloved Country, Paton's poetry and non-fiction prose, other topics about South Africa and poet W.B. Yeats.