Friday, 23 November 2012

Breaking my NaNo hiatus for Bryce Courtney, author, who died last night.

Hi my friends!
Bryce Courtney

Bryce Courtney was one of my favourite authors. He was born and lived in South Africa for 17 years, then he moved to Australia where he lived for 57 years, so he always thought of himself as an Aussie and wrote so many fictional accounts of early Australian history.

Bryce started his career as an advertising high flyer, but always had stories inside him demanding to be written. He published his first book at age 55 - the inspirational saga, Power of One, one of my all-time favourites. (I was thrilled to pick up an autographed copy recently). It is a great authentic-sounding story, has breathtaking settings in the African landscape and prisons, also authentic, great themes, a chilling view of hatred and apartheid  - in other words, great power in words!

The Power of One, his debut novel, sold 12 million copies, was published in 28 languages, and was made into a movie. I don't usually like movies made from books overmuch, but even though the movie added romantic elements and some of its focus was different - that Zulu singing, Morgan Freeman's role as the boxing coach, and the beautifully-wrought characterisation of young Peekay, made it a memorable movie. I asked a friend at the time who'd escaped Zimbabwe during the civil war, whether the violence shown in the film, especially in the black settlements, was exaggerated. She replied, that no, they were understated. God help us!

Bryce went on to write 20 more books. He wrote 12 hours a day as a general rule. Not bad for a dyslexic! He was a storyteller always terrified of running out of time, but he believed strongly that we all have a use by date. Bryce's was last night.

RIP Bryce. I'm glad you got that last book published just a week ago - Jack of Diamonds. How did you do it? A new book every November just in time for Christmas! Your timing was spot on as always!

Your grateful reader,

  • We don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia, but I am very thankful for Bryce Courtney and the words and worlds he created.
  • Happy Thanksgiving to those who are celebrating!


Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

oh, that's sad news indeed. :(
I didn't realise he first published at 55.

Trisha said...

Yeah, I saw this news this morning and was really sad :( RIP Bryce. He was a true legend.

Diane said...

Very sad news. RIP Bryce.

Have a great weekend Diane

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Very impressive career. His words will be missed.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Always feels terrible when a favourite voice goes out. So sorry for the loss, and also thankful for what he, and others like him, create/d. Have a great weekend.

Charmaine Clancy said...

He set the bar very high.

Love your xmas look!

Nas said...

RIP, Bryce Courtney.

Yolanda Renée said...

November -- not my favorite month due to loss. This was a beautiful tribute to the man and his work.

Thank you for sharing!

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