358pp., illus., paperback, Cape Town, 2020
A biography of poet and political activist Dennis Brutus (1924-2009) that focuses on his life in South Africa from his childhood until he went into exile in 1966.
"Tyrone August has brought us an invaluable gem in producing this work on Dennis Brutus. Brutus ennobled a cause that had confounded many a politician, his sensitivity and empathy finding resonance with forces combating injustice and iniquity everywhere. We owe a debt of gratitude to August for mining the archive and bringing to life one of the most important sons of our wounded soil." Mandla Langa, author of The Lost Colours of the Chameleon and Dare Not Linger: the Presidential years
"August’s biography makes extensive use of archival documents, interviews and, above all, draws on Brutus’s poetry to give us a fulsome story of his early years in South Africa. The work is an empathetic yet dispassionate, critical account of the making of the great poet and political radical. It is considered, elegant and sensitive, allowing Brutus, through his poetry and prose, to co-narrate these formative years." Shaun Viljoen, Associate Professor in the English Department of the University of Stellenbosch
Tyrone August completed his doctorate on the poetry of Dennis Brutus at the University of the Western Cape and developed this biography of Brutus as a postdoctoral fellow in the English Department at the University of Stellenbosch, where he is currently a research fellow. A journalist, he was editor of the Cape Times newspaper and Leadership magazine.