Hugh Lewin

Agent: Isobel Dixon

Hugh Lewin (1939-2019) was a journalist and anti-apartheid activist who served a full prison sentence for sabotage against the apartheid state, and left South Africa on a ‘permanent exit permit’ in 1971. Ten years in exile in London were followed by ten years in Zimbabwe. He returned to South Africa in 1992, became director of the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism in Johannesburg, and worked as a freelance media trainer. He was also a member of the Human Rights Violations Committee of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

David Philip published his prison memoir BANDIET: SEVEN YEARS IN A SOUTH AFRICAN PRISON in 1989. He won the 2003 Olive Schreiner Prize for an edition updated with new material, BANDIET OUT JAIL. In 2012 his last book STONES AGAINST THE MIRROR won the Sunday Times Alan Paton Prize for non-fiction. Nadine Gordimer described it as ‘unforgettable, invaluable’.

Hugh Lewin’s obituary in the Johannesburg Review of Books

 

STONES AGAINST THE MIRROR: A Story of Friendship & Betrayal Politics / Memoir, 192 pages. Umuzi, 2011  Winner of Sunday Times Alan Paton Award 2012  Lewin was incarcerated for seven years after being found guilty for sabotage activities against the apartheid state. In his book, he organises the events as a journey between two railway stations.  ‘A powerful tale, showing a master craftsman at work…a deeply moving memoir.’ The Witness

STONES AGAINST THE MIRROR: A Story of Friendship & Betrayal
Politics / Memoir, 192 pages.
Umuzi, 2011

Winner of Sunday Times Alan Paton Award 2012

Lewin was incarcerated for seven years after being found guilty for sabotage activities against the apartheid state. In his book, he organises the events as a journey between two railway stations.

‘A powerful tale, showing a master craftsman at work…a deeply moving memoir.’ The Witness

BANDIET OUT OF JAIL Biography, 328 pages, Umuzi, 1989  Convicted on charges of protest sabotage in 1964, Hugh Lewin spent seven years in prison in South Africa, secretly recording his experiences and those of his fellow inmates on the pages of his Bible. On his release, these writings were published in London while the book remained banned in South Africa for many years. Hailed as a classic of South African prison writing, Bandiet out of Jail contains the full text of the original, as well as poems and descriptions of Lewin’s experiences with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that offer unique insights into changes in the political and emotional landscape since his return to South Africa in 1992. The illustrations comprise original prison drawings by Harold Strachan, twice a fellow bandiet with Lewin in Pretoria. Bandiet out of Jail was awarded the Olive Schreiner Prize in 2003.

BANDIET OUT OF JAIL
Biography, 328 pages, Umuzi, 1989

Convicted on charges of protest sabotage in 1964, Hugh Lewin spent seven years in prison in South Africa, secretly recording his experiences and those of his fellow inmates on the pages of his Bible. On his release, these writings were published in London while the book remained banned in South Africa for many years. Hailed as a classic of South African prison writing, Bandiet out of Jail contains the full text of the original, as well as poems and descriptions of Lewin’s experiences with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that offer unique insights into changes in the political and emotional landscape since his return to South Africa in 1992. The illustrations comprise original prison drawings by Harold Strachan, twice a fellow bandiet with Lewin in Pretoria. Bandiet out of Jail was awarded the Olive Schreiner Prize in 2003.