Famous Novelists from South Africa

List of notable or famous novelists from South Africa, with bios and photos, including the top novelists born in South Africa and even some popular novelists who immigrated to South Africa. If you're trying to find out the names of famous South African novelists then this list is the perfect resource for you. These novelists are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known novelist from South Africa is included when available.

Examples include J. R. R. Tolkien and Antony Sher.

This historic novelists from South Africa list can help answer the questions "Who are some South African novelists of note?" and "Who are the most famous novelists from South Africa?" These prominent novelists of South Africa may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected South African novelists.

Use this list of renowned South African novelists to discover some new novelists that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. {#nodes}
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  • Alex La Guma
    Photo: user uploaded image
    Alex La Guma (20 February 1924 – 11 October 1985) was a South African novelist, leader of the South African Coloured People’s Organisation (SACPO) and a defendant in the Treason Trial, whose works helped characterise the movement against the apartheid era in South Africa. La Guma's vivid style, distinctive dialogue, and realistic, sympathetic portrayal of oppressed groups have made him one of the most notable South African writers of the 20th century. La Guma was awarded the 1969 Lotus Prize for Literature.
    • Age: Dec. at 60 (1925-1985)
    • Birthplace: District Six, South Africa
  • Antony Sher
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use
    Sir Antony Sher, KBE (born 14 June 1949) is a British actor of South African origin, a two-time Laurence Olivier Award winner and four-time nominee, who joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1982 and toured in many roles, as well as appearing on film and TV, and working as a writer and theatre director. In 2001, he starred in his cousin Ronald Harwood’s play Mahler's Conversion, and said that the story of a composer sacrificing his faith for his career echoed his own identity struggles. Sher and his partner and collaborator Gregory Doran became one of the first gay couples to enter into a civil partnership in the UK. During his 2017 "Commonwealth Tour", Prince Charles referred to Sher as ...more
    • Age: 73
    • Birthplace: Cape Town, South Africa
  • Aryan Kaganof
    Photo: user uploaded image
    Aryan Kaganof (born 1964 as Ian Kerkhof) is a South African film maker, novelist, poet and fine artist. In 1999 he changed his name to Aryan Kaganof.
    • Age: 59
    • Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Harold Athol Lanigan Fugard OIS (born 11 June 1932) is a South African playwright, novelist, actor, and director who writes in South African English. He is best known for his political plays opposing the system of apartheid and for the 2005 Academy Award-winning film of his novel Tsotsi, directed by Gavin Hood. Fugard was an adjunct professor of playwriting, acting and directing in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of California, San Diego. For the academic year 2000–2001, he was the IU Class of 1963 Wells Scholar Professor at Indiana University, in Bloomington, Indiana. He is the recipient of many awards, honours, and honorary degrees, including the 2005 Order of ...more
    • Age: 90
    • Birthplace: South Africa, Middelburg, Eastern Cape
  • Brian Cleeve
    Photo: user uploaded image
    Brian Brendon Talbot Cleeve (22 November 1921 – 11 March 2003) was a writer, whose published works include twenty-one novels and over a hundred short stories. He was also an award-winning broadcaster on RTÉ television. Son of an Irish father and English mother, he was born and raised in England. He lived in South Africa during the early years of National Party rule and was expelled from the country because of his opposition to apartheid. In his early thirties he moved to Ireland where he lived for the remainder of his life. In late middle age he underwent a profound spiritual experience, which led him to embrace mysticism. He developed a model for the spiritual life based on the principle ...more
    • Age: Dec. at 81 (1921-2003)
    • Birthplace: Southend-on-Sea, United Kingdom
  • Bryce Courtenay
    Photo: user uploaded image
    Arthur Bryce Courtenay, AM (14 August 1933 – 22 November 2012) was a South African/Australian advertising director and novelist. He is one of Australia's best-selling authors, notable for his book The Power of One.
    • Age: Dec. at 79 (1933-2012)
    • Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa