Writers Famous Authors from South Africa

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List of the most popular authors from South Africa, listed alphabetically with photos when available. For centuries authors have been among the world's most important people, helping chronicle history and keep us entertained with one of the earliest forms of storytelling. Whether they're known for fiction, non-fiction, poetry or even technical writing, the famous South African authors on this list have kept that tradition alive by writing renowned works that have been praised around the world. You can find useful information below about these notable South African writers, such as when they were born and where their place of birth was.

The list you're viewing is made up of different authors like Dan Roodt and Gibson Kente.

This list answers the questions, "Which famous authors are from South Africa?" and "Who are the best South African authors?"

For further information on these historic South African authors, click on their names. If you're a bookworm then use this list of celebrated South African authors to discover some new books that you will enjoy reading.
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1
Isaac Schapera is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Authors from South Africa
A handbook of Tswana law and custom, Rainmaking rites of Tswana tribes, The early Cape Hottentots
Isaac Schapera, was a social anthropologist at the London School of Economics specialising in South Africa. He was notable for his contributions of ethnographic and typological studies of the ...more

2
Rose Moss is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Authors from South Africa
The terrorist, Shouting at the crocodile, The family reunion
Rose Rappoport Moss is an American writer born in South Africa. She has published novels, short stories, words for music and nonfiction. Moss was born in Johannesburg, and has lived in the ...more

3
Andrew Murray is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Authors from South Africa
Teach Me To Pray, Not My Will, Working for God!
Andrew Murray was a South African writer, teacher, and Christian pastor. Murray considered missions to be "the chief end of the church."

4
William Plomer is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Authors from South Africa
Ali the lion, The South African Autobiography, Kilvert's Diary
William Charles Franklyn Plomer CBE was a South African and British author, known as a novelist, poet and literary editor. He was educated mostly in the United Kingdom, but described himself as ...more

5
Ahmed Deedat is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Authors from South Africa
The choice, What the Bible Says About Muhammad, Crucifixion or cruci-fiction?
Ahmed Hoosen Deedat was a South African writer and public speaker of Indian descent. He was best known as a Muslim missionary who held numerous inter-religious public debates with evangelical ...more

6
Peter Abrahams is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Authors from South Africa
A night of their own, Wild conquest, Return to Goli
Peter Henry Abrahams Deras is a South African novelist, journalist and political commentator.

7
Basil Rathbone is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Authors from South Africa
In & Out of Character
Philip St. John Basil Rathbone, MC was a South African-born English actor. He rose to prominence in the UK as a Shakespearean stage actor and went on to appear in over 70 films, primarily ...more

8
Johannes Meintjes is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Authors from South Africa
Sandile, the fall of the Xhosa Nation, De La Rey--Lion of the West
Johannes Petrus Meintjes was a South African artist and writer. Meintjes grew up on his family's farm in the mountains near Molteno. He lived and worked in Cape Town for several years, taught ...more

9
Ronald Harwood is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Authors from South Africa
The Dresser, Taking Sides, The Pianist and Taking Sides
Sir Ronald Harwood, CBE, FRSL is an author, playwright and screenwriter. He is most noted for his plays for the British stage as well as the screenplays for The Dresser and The Pianist, for ...more

10
Cyril Cusack is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Authors from South Africa
Tar éis an aifrinn, Humour Is on Me, Between the acts and other poems
Cyril Cusack was an actor.

11
Nadine Gordimer is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Authors from South Africa
The Late Bourgeois World, A Sport of Nature, The Conservationist
Nadine Gordimer was a South African writer, political activist and recipient of the 1991 Nobel Prize in Literature. She was recognized as a woman "who through her magnificent epic writing ...more

12
J. M. Coetzee is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Authors from South Africa
Waiting for the Barbarians, Slow Man, Youth: Scenes from Provincial Life II
John Maxwell "J. M." Coetzee is a South African novelist, essayist, linguist, translator and recipient of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature. He relocated to Australia in 2002 and ...more

13
Nelson Mandela is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Authors from South Africa
Long Walk to Freedom, The Essential Nelson Mandela, L'apartheid
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was South Africa's first ...more

14
André Brink is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Authors from South Africa
An Act of Terror, The Novel, Imaginings of Sand
André Philippus Brink, OIS was a South African novelist. He wrote in both Afrikaans and English and was a Professor of English at the University of Cape Town. In the 1960s he, Ingrid ...more

15
Athol Fugard is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Authors from South Africa
Hello And Goodbye, Boesman and Lena, My Children! My Africa!
Athol Fugard is an actor, screenwriter and film director.

16
Lindsay Armstrong is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Authors from South Africa
Accidental Nanny, A Masterful Man, Playboy Lover
Lindsay Armstrong is a popular South African-Australian writer of over 65 romance novels. She published her novels in Mills & Boon's since 1981. Armstrong was born and raised in South ...more

17
Wilbur A. Smith is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Authors from South Africa
The Diamond Hunters, THE BURNING SHORE, Rage
Wilbur Addison Smith is a South African novelist specialising in historical fiction about the international involvement in Southern Africa across three centuries, seen from the viewpoints of ...more

18
Abba Eban is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Authors from South Africa
The meaning of Jewish history, Israel in the world, Diplomacy for the next century
Abba Eban was an Israeli diplomat and politician, and a scholar of the Arabic and Hebrew languages. In his career he was Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister, Education Minister, Deputy Prime ...more

19
Antony Sher is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Authors from South Africa
Year of the king, Primo Time, Beside Myself
Sir Antony Sher, KBE is a South African-born British actor, writer and theatre director.

20
Alan Paton is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Authors from South Africa
Cry, the Beloved Country, Kontakion For You Departed
Alan Stewart Paton was a South African author and anti-apartheid activist.

21
Laurens van der Post is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Authors from South Africa
The seed and the sower, The Lost World of the Kalahari, Feather Fall
Sir Laurens Jan van der Post, CBE was a 20th-century Afrikaner author, farmer, war hero, political adviser to British heads of government, close friend of Prince Charles, godfather of Prince ...more

22
Margaret Wild is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Authors from South Africa
Bobbie Dazzler, Kiss kiss, Little Humpty
Margaret Wild is an Australian children's writer. She has written more than 40 books for children. Her work has been published around the world and has won several awards.

23
Breyten Breytenbach is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Authors from South Africa
Dog Heart: A Memoir, Mouroir, Boklied
Breyten Breytenbach is a South African writer and painter of great eminence. He is informally considered as the national poet laureate by Afrikaans speaking South Africans of the region. He also ...more

24
Noel Langley is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Authors from South Africa
The Land of Green Ginger, Tales of Mystery and Revenge, Edward
Noel Langley was a South African novelist, playwright, screenwriter and director. He wrote the screenplay which formed the basis for the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz and is one of the three ...more

25
Brian Cleeve is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Authors from South Africa
Judith, Cry of Morning, Tread Softly in This Place
Brian Brendon Talbot Cleeve was a prolific writer, whose published works include twenty-one novels and over a hundred short stories. He was also an award-winning broadcaster on RTÉ ...more