Charles Jonathan Driver
|Education||St. Andrew's College|
"Jonty" Driver was born in Cape Town in 1939, but spent the years of the Second World War in Kroonstad and Cradock with his mother and younger brother and grandfather who was the rector of the Anglican parish there. During this period his father did wartime service in North Africa. Driver's father was captured by the Axis forces at Tobruk and spent the rest of the war as a prisoner of war in Italy and Germany. When he came back to South Africa, the family moved to Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, where his father was appointed chaplain at St. Andrew's College and where Jonty later did his schooling.
Driver did his undergraduate study at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He was elected president of the National Union of South African Students in 1963 and again in 1964. In August and September 1964, he was detained without trial by the police and held in solitary confinement, possibly because of his suspected involvement in the African Resistance Movement, on his release he immediately left for England. He went to Trinity College, Oxford, to read for an M.Phil.
While he was at Oxford, the South African authorities refused to renew his passport and he became stateless for several years, eventually becoming a British citizen. For more than twenty years he was prohibited from returning to South Africa.
Work in education
After his time at Oxford, Driver taught at Sevenoaks School in Kent and then at Matthew Humberstone Comprehensive School in Lincolnshire (formerly Humberside) after 1973, where he was Director of Sixth-Form Studies. He wrote Patrick Duncan: South African and Pan-African while on a sabbatical from the school in 1976 and before taking up his next appointment.
In 1976 he was a Research Fellow at the University of York, and for twenty-three years he was a headmaster (Principal, Island School, Hong Kong, 1978–83; Headmaster, Berkhamsted School, 1983-9; Master, Wellington College, 1989–2000).
As of November 2019[update] Driver was a full-time writer, though he continues his involvement in education.
He was a judge for the Caine Prize for African Writing, 2007 and 2008. He was a fellow of the Bogliasco Foundation in 2007. He was a fellow at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, USA, in the fall of 2009, and a fellow at the Hawthornden Writers' Retreat in March/April 2011.
He is married with three children and eight grandchildren.
- History of the Relations Between NUSAS, the ASB and the Afrikaans University Centres: Covering the Period 1960–1963. Supplement. National Union of South African Students. 1964.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link) with Adrian Leftwich
- Jack Cope. D. Philip. 1979. ISBN 978-0-908396-11-5.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Patrick Duncan: South African and Pan-African. Heinemann. 1980. ISBN 978-0-435-96200-5.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Elegy for a Revolutionary. David Philip. 1984. ISBN 978-0-86486-015-6.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Hong Kong Portraits. Perpetua Press. 1986. ISBN 978-0-9511667-0-3.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- "Used to be Great Friends". Granta: 7–26. 2002.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- So Far: Selected Poems, 1960–2004. Snailpress. 2005. ISBN 978-1-904724-27-8.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- A Messiah of the Last Days. Faber & Faber. 2010. ISBN 978-0-571-27000-2.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Death of Fathers. Faber & Faber. 2011. ISBN 978-0-571-26050-8.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Send War in Our Time, O Lord. Faber & Faber. 2011. ISBN 978-0-571-25965-6.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- The Man with the Suitcase: The Life, Execution and Rehabilitation of John Harris, Liberal Terrorist. Cape Town: Crane River. 2015. ISBN 9780620668521.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- "Alan Paton's Hofmeyr". Race & Class. 6 (4): 269–280. 1965. doi:10.1177/030639686500600403. ISSN 0306-3968. S2CID 143844131.
- "Rhodes? The swine did some good". Rand Daily Mail. 20 March 2015.
- Some Schools. John Catt Educational. 30 November 2016. ISBN 9781909717978. (About the five schools at which Driver worked)
- Before. Crane River in association with the Africa Sun Press. August 2018. ISBN 9781909717978. (A collection of 22 poems)
- Eve, Jeanette (2003). A Literary Guide to the Eastern Cape: Places and the Voices of Writers. Juta and Company Ltd. ISBN 978-1-919930-15-2.
- Sleeman, Elizabeth (2003). Europa Publications (ed.). International Who's Who in Poetry 2004. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-1-85743-178-0.
- Theron, Bridget (2004). The Road to Democracy in South Africa: 1970–1980. Unisa Press. ISBN 978-1-86888-406-3.
- "Jonty Driver". South African History Online. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- Beresford, David (2010). Truth is a Strange Fruit: A Personal Journey Through the Apartheid War. Jacana Media. ISBN 978-1-77009-902-9.
- Kline, Benjamin (2008). "The National Union of South African Students: a Case-Study of the Plight of Liberalism, 1924–77". The Journal of Modern African Studies. 23 (1): 139–145. doi:10.1017/S0022278X0005655X. ISSN 0022-278X.
- Lodge, Tom (2013). "Working in a South African Politics Department During the 1980s: Recollections". Politikon. 40 (3): 425–445. doi:10.1080/02589346.2013.856570. ISSN 0258-9346. S2CID 145445486.
- Morlan, Gail (1970). "Black and White Students Struggle for Freedom in South Africa and the United States". Africa Today. Indiana University Press. 17 (3): 12–20. JSTOR 4185088.
- Nagan, Winston P (2005). "Truth, Reconciliation, and the Fragility of Heroic Activism". Global Jurist Advances. 5 (1). doi:10.2202/1535-1661.1148. ISSN 1535-1661. S2CID 144048368.