By Mary Benson
The autobiography of Mary Benson, a white South African author recognized for her paintings opposed to apartheid, whose lifestyles illustrates a public and private drama. She describes her early years spent in Hollywood and her lifestyles as a devoted employee againest apartheid.
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Additional resources for A Far Cry: The Making of a South African
One passage could have been about myself: I was . , brought up by honourable parents, given all that a child could need or desire. They were upright and kind and law-abiding; they taught me my prayers and took me regu larly to church; they had no trouble with servants. lromu them I learned all that a child should learn of honour and charity and generosity. * The little I knew of the author came from the dust cover: born in 1903, he was married with two sons and fbr twelve years had been Principal of'a reformatory for delinquent African boys.
But as the moment approached, enthusiasm waned. Without the rapture of his presence, my own passion grew uncertain and guilt and tear of pregnancy were reawakened. At the last moment I telephoned him in Baghdad with a lame excuse. He did not write again. I threw myself into superficial flirtations and ly erratic behaviour culminated in a crisis when I overstayed a weekend's leave. General Surtees grimly pointed out the seriousness of going AWOL, especially during a war. IIe had no alternative, he said, but to order my return to South Africa.
Very tall, almost gaunt, he wals sunburnt after attending a conference of G(andhi's Ihllower in India and was wearing an ankle-length coat of yellowish tweed, no doubt from the ashram, He was nct strictly handsortle. Perhaps his face revealed the two sides to his nature, otne austere, the other mischievous, but he radiated spiritual srength and the overriding impression was one of beauty. (R. C. ') le had a steady, penetrating gaze, but I fbund his handshake disconcert ingly limp. Clearly, he was extremely shy.