Christopher Hope

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Christopher Hope
Born (1944-02-26) 26 February 1944 (age 73)
Johannesburg, South Africa
Occupation Novelist and poet
Nationality South African
Education University of Witwatersrand
Alma mater University of Natal
Period 1970–
Subject Racism and politics in South Africa
Notable works White Boy Running, A Separate Development, Kruger's Alp
Notable awards Thomas Pringle Prize, Cholmondeley Award, David Higham Memorial Prize
Spouse Eleanor Marilyn Margaret Klein
Relatives Dudley Mitford and Kathleen Margaret Hope

Christopher Hope, FRSL (born 26 February 1944) is a South African novelist and poet who is known for his controversial works dealing with racism and politics in South Africa.


Christopher Hope was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, to Dudley Mitford and Kathleen Margaret Hope. Hope was educated at the University of Witwatersrand and the University of Natal. He served in the South African Navy beginning in 1962. Hope married Eleanor Marilyn Margaret Klein 18 February 1967. The couple would eventually divorce. Hope worked briefly as a journalist before leaving on a "self-imposed" exile to London, England. His autobiographical piece, White Boy Running, chronicles this time of Hope's life.


Hope's poetry was first published in Whitewashes, a poetry book that was released in 1971. In 1974, his poetry was published as Cape Drives, a collection of original prose. Hope's first novel, A Separate Development, was published in 1981. The novel was banned in South Africa for its overt criticisms of the Apartheid government.

Hope's second novel, Kruger's Alp, was considered a stark contrast to his first work. Kruger's Alp was described by the New York Times Book Review as "a novel in the form of a dream allegory". Despite its departure from Hope's earlier writings, Kruger's Alp was greeted with critical acclaim.

Hope's other novels include The Hottentot Room, Darkest England, and My Mother's Lovers. Hope has also penned a memoir entitled White Boy Running, several plays, and two pieces of juvenile fiction.


Over the course of his career, Hope has earned a number of prestigious writing awards. Cape Drives won Hope the Thomas Pringle Prize and a Cholmondeley Award. A Separate Development was the recipient of the David Higham Memorial Prize.[1] Hope won the Whitbread Prize in 1984 for Kruger's Alp.[2] Hope has also been awarded the Professor Alexander Petrie Award, the Silver Pen Award, and in 1992 shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize with Serenity House.[3]

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1990.[4]

Selected bibliography[edit]


  • Whitewashes 1970
  • Cape Drives 1974
  • A Separate Development 1977
  • Private Parts & Other Tales 1981
  • In the Country of the Black Pig 1981
  • Kruger's Alp 1985
  • The Hottentot Room 1986
  • Black Swan 1987
  • White Boy Running 1988
  • My Chocolate Redeemer 1989
  • Moscow! Moscow! 1990
  • Serenity House 1992
  • The Love Songs of Nathan J. Swirsky 1993
  • Darkest England 1996
  • Me, the Moon and Elvis Presley 1997
  • Signs of the Heart: Love and Death in Languedoc 1999
  • Heaven Forbid 2001
  • Brothers Under the Skin: Travels in Tyranny 2003
  • My Mother's Lovers 2007
  • Shooting Angels 2011

Book reviews[edit]


  1. ^ Prizewinning Literature: UK Literary Award Winners by Anne Strachan, publ. 1989 by Library Association Publishing Ltd ISBN 0-85365-558-8
  2. ^ Costa Book awards, Past Winners Archived 29 December 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ The Man Booker Prize, writer's profile for Christopher Hope
  4. ^ "Royal Society of Literature All Fellows". Royal Society of Literature. Archived from the original on 5 March 2010. Retrieved 9 August 2010. 

External links[edit]