The January 11 Google Doodle pays tribute to South African author and anti-apartheid activist, Alan Paton – commemorating his 115th birthday.

The Google Doodle depicting South African writer Alan Paton on a train journey through the South African countryside, a trip that inspired the idea behind his best work, Cry, The Beloved Country. (Image: Google)

CD Anderson

South African writer Alan Paton, author of the classic South African novel Cry, The Beloved Country was born on 11 January 1903. Google celebrates the life and work of the author with a commemorative Doodle on the search engine’s homepage.

The Doodle depicts Paton looking out on the South African countryside during a train journey that many believe was the moment the idea for his most famous work was first conceived. Paton had worked as a teacher and later as the headmaster of the Diepkloof prison for young black offenders where he took note of the effects of racial discrimination on South African youth.

Through a number of his own progressive educational and social programmes at the facility, Paton hoped to reduce the suffering of prisoners, some as young as nine, and help them re-enter society on a better footing than most had arrived.

Google, in a statement on the unveiling of the Doodle, hoped that highlighting Paton and his works on such a ubiquitous portal for many young people using the internet, his life story would reach new audiences.

Other notable South Africans who have featured on Google Doodles in the past include Nadine Gordimer, Nelson Mandela and Steve Biko.

For more information on Alan Paton, read these Brand South Africa articles below:

South African literature

31 books every South African should read

Source: Google, eNCA

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