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Stephen Gray (Stephen Richard Gray) Biography

(1941– ), (Stephen Richard Gray), Granta, South African Literature: an Introduction, The Assassination of Shaka

south university african cape

South African novelist, poet, and playwright, born in Cape Town, educated at the University of Cape Town, Queen's College, Cambridge, where he edited Granta, and Iowa State University. Before becoming a full-time writer in 1991, Gray was a professor of English at the Rand Afrikaans University, Johannesburg. His principal academic work is South African Literature: an Introduction (1979). Gray's poems display great versatility across a wide range of traditional and innovative forms. Collections of his verse, which is thematically dominated by his engagements with historical and socio-cultural aspects of South Africa, include The Assassination of Shaka (1974), Hottentot Venus (1979), Apollo Café (1989), Season of Violence (1992), and Selected Poems, 1960–1992 (1994). Local Colour (1975), Time of Our Darkness (1987), Born of Man (1989), and War Child (1991) are among his numerous novels, which characteristically base their analyses of national identity in treatments of the everyday social realities of South Africa. Schreiner: a One-Woman Play (1983) is the most widely admired of his dramas. His works as an editor include The Penguin Book of South African Stories (1985). Accident of Birth (1993) is an autobiography.

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