Alan Paton is known chiefly for his novels, biographies, autobiographies and
political writings. His short stories have received relatively little attention.
At their best, however, they are finely wrought and deeply absorbing. What
is more, they encapsulate many of the complexities of his work. The
collection entitled The Hero of Currie Road (published in 2008), in which
Umuzi have gathered together what they call the "complete short
pieces" (indicating that several of the prose items are not short stories as
such) reveals once more how difficult it is to categorise Paton's writing or to
make generalisations about it. Here, as elsewhere, Paton is subtle and heavyhanded,
perspicacious and encumbered by blind spots, outmoded and
astonishingly, stubbornly relevant.