Graeme Friedman is a writer, clinical psychologist, and former anti-apartheid activist. His critically acclaimed writing spans several genres and has been short-listed for a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the M-Net Literary Award, and long-listed for the Sunday Times (SA) Fiction Prize and the Voss Literary Prize. He has published several short stories, two novels, and three works of non-fiction, including Madiba’s Boys, a book on South African football,
politics, and history (published with a foreword by Nelson Mandela) and listed as a Top Ten Sports Book in the United Kingdom. His work has been translated and is used as teaching texts in South Africa and Denmark. He has a PhD on the role of shame and storytelling in political violence.
As diverse as his subject matter has been, there is a constant thread weaving through all of Graeme’s writing, and that is his fascination with how the private lives of ordinary people play out against broader world events. His storytelling puts relationships front and centre, stitching tales of family conflict and love into the tapestry of history and politics, a blend privileged by personal experience and a deep engagement in the stories of others.
Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Graeme grew up during the apartheid era, qualifying as a clinical psychologist and working as an anti-apartheid activist counselling trauma survivors and victims of torture. He appeared as an expert witness for the defence in many political trials, giving evidence about the iniquities of apartheid and the torture of detainees, earning him the ire of the Security Police. After many years, he feels ready to share these experiences, and is writing a personal account of arguably the most gruesome of apartheid’s ‘terrorism’ trials, involving deaths by landmine on the country’s northern border.
For the past twenty years, Graeme has lived in Sydney, Australia, with his wife and three children, one dog, and one cat, all of whom get on pretty well except for the cat and the dog, who are in need of couple therapy.