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Mark Gevisser Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Defiant Desire: Gay and Lesbian Lives in South Africa (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Portraits of Power: Profiles in a Changing South Africa (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Thabo Mbeki: The Dream Deferred (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Legacy of Liberation: Thabo Mbeki and the Future of the South African Dream (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lost and Found in Johannesburg: A Memoir (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sue Williamson: Life and Work (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Pink Line: Journeys Across the World's Queer Frontiers (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Mark Gevisser
Mark Gevisser was born in South Africa in the year 1964. He graduated from Yale University in the year 1987 magna cum laude with a degree in comparative literature.

He worked in New York as a high school teacher and wrote for The Nation and Village Voice. Before he returned to South Africa in the year 1990 in order to work as a journalist, mainly for the celebrated anti-apartheid newspaper the Mail & Guardian.

In order to research “The Pink Line”, he traveled to more than twenty countries, with the aid of one Open Society Fellowship. His journalism on the new global discussion on gender identity and sexual orientation has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, and Granta.

Mark is one of the foremost South African writers. He writes a review-essay column, called The Monthly Review, in the South African Business Day.

Mark lives outside of Cape Town, South Africa, with his long term partner and Sugar and Porridge, their two dogs.

He has also worked as an exhibition curator: he co-led the team that developed the heritage, tourism, and education components of Constitution Hill, and also co-curated the Hill’s permanent exhibitions. Other exhibition projects have included an exploration of sexual identity in Johannesburg, called Joburg Tracks.

Mark’s an experienced writing coach and teacher, and has conducted narrative non-fiction workshops in South African universities and newsrooms, and for Commonwealth Writers and Kawni! in East Africa.

He was a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Resident in 2018. He has also been a Carnegie Equity Fellow at Wits University, and a Writing Fellow at the University of Pretoria and at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER). Starting in the year 2018, he has been a judge on the Gerald Kraak Award for writing on human rights, gender, and sexuality in Africa.

“The Dream Deferred” won a 2008 Alan Paton Prize in South Africa and won the Recht Malan Prize in South Africa. “Lost and Found in Johannesburg” also won a Recht Malan Prize.

“Thabo Mbeki: The Dream Deferred” is a non-fiction book that was released in the year 2007. This is a story of exile and home. It is also a story about political intrigue, and a revolutionary movement the struggles first to defeat, then to seduce a callous and powerful foe, of the battle between discord and unity, and the dogged rise to power of one clever, quiet, diligent but unpopular guy that seemed to not take much joy in power but had a large need for it.

By the time he retired in the year 2009, Thabo Mbeki had ruled South Africa, in effect, for the entire fifteen years of its post-apartheid democracy: the first five as Nelson Mandela’s so-called ‘prime minister’ and the next ten as Mandela’s successor. No African leader since the uhuru generation of Nkrumah and Nyerre has been nearly as influential.

This is a profound psycho-political examination of this intelligent yet deeply-flawed leader who’s tried to forge an identity for himself as the symbol of modern Africa in the huge shadow of Mandela. This is also a gripping journey into the rather turbulent history and troubled contemporary soul of this country, one looking to make sense of the confusion in the present and the violence in the past. While Mbeki fights, in present day, with some demons ranging from Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe to AIDS and discovers his legacy being challenged by the growing candidacy of his Jacob Zuma, his would-be successor.

“Lost and Found in Johannesburg: A Memoir” is a non-fiction book that was released in the year 2014. As a boy growing up in apartheid Johannesburg, Mark would play ‘Dispatcher’, a game that involved sending some imaginary couriers on routes mapped out from Holmden’s Register of Johannesburg. While the phantom fleet made its way across the troubled city’s atomized geographies, so too did this young dispatcher started figuring out his own place in this world.

With the photographs and maps that he has collected over two decades, Mark plots his path across the city of his birth, from the early exploration of his gay identity to his brutal experience, as an adult, of one armed home invasion. He tracks back along his Jewish immigrant family’s routes to South Africa, from Dublin, Vlinius, and Jerusalem, before immersing himself in the Johannesburg of today.

Gevisser finds and loses himself, and then finds himself again in the city where he was born.

“The Pink Line: Journeys Across the World’s Queer Frontiers” is a non-fiction book that was released in the year 2020. More than five years in the making, this book is a globetrotting exploration about how the human rights frontier around gender identity and sexual orientation has come to both divide, as well as described, the world in a whole new way over the first twenty years of the twenty-first century.

No other social movement has brought change this quickly and with such dramatically mixed results. While gender transition and same-sex marriage is celebrated in certain parts of the world, laws are being strengthened to actually criminalize homosexuality and gender nonconformity in others. A new Pink Line, Gevisser argues, has been drawn across the entire world, and he is taking readers to its frontiers.

In analytical and sharp chapters about culture wars, gender ideology, folklore, and geopolitics, Gevisser provides sensitive and sometimes startling profiles of various queer folk that he has encountered on the Pink Line’s front lines across nine different countries. They include a gay Ugandan refugee stuck in Nairobi, a trans Malawian refugee that was granted asylum in South Africa, a lesbian couple that started their gay cafe in Cairo after the Arab Spring. A trans woman that fights for custody of her kid in Moscow, and lastly a community of kothis (women’s hearts in men’s bodies) that run a temple in an Indian fishing village.

Mark delivers a fascinating, deeply moving, profound, and incredibly well, researched this study of the different continued struggles of the LGBTQ+ community all around the world is a must read for anybody with an interest in this subject. The book is vast in scale and provides sharp analysis of the global state of gender and sexuality-related issues mixed with the personal narratives.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Mark Gevisser

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