Achmat Dangor was born in Johannesburg in 1948. After high school, he drifted around, living in small towns, which influenced his writing, particularly the theme of the outsider. He has worked in the private sector – thirteen years with Revlon – as well as in social and economic development. He was chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and founded the Kagiso Trust. After teaching in New York, he became head of the Secretariat of the Drought Forum and, later, director of the Independent Development Trust, before returning to New York, where his wife worked for the United Nations. He has written plays, poetry, short stories and novels.