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Don Pinnock

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

About Don Pinnock

Don Pinnock is an associate of Southern Write and a former editor of Getaway magazine in Cape Town, South Africa. He has travelled extensively throughout the world for the past 13 years, writing and photographing.

He has been an electronic engineer, lecturer in journalism and criminology, consultant to the Mandela government, a professional yachtsman, explorer, travel writer, photographer and a cable-car operator on the Rock of Gibraltar. His present passion is the impact of humans on planetary processes.

Don has a PhD in political science, an MA in criminology, a BA in African history and has published a post-doctoral study on gangs, rituals and rites of passage. He has held lectureships in Journalism (Rhodes) and Criminology (University of Cape Town) and completed his PhD research at SOAS, London University. He was Writer in Residence at South Africa’s Antarctic Sanai 4 base in 2005/6.

He is also a founder of Usiko, a rehabilitation organisation for high-risk youths, and Umzi Wethu, a residential programme for Aids orphans. As a criminologist, he was one of the co-drafters of the Youth Justice White Paper for the ANC government which is now the acclaimed Child Justice Act. He is a specialist in adolescent deviance.

His books include The Brotherhoods: Street Gangs and State Control, Gangs, Rituals and Rites of Passage, Natural Selections, African Journeys, Loveletters to Africa, Writing Left (a biography of Ruth First). Voices of Liberation: Ruth First and Blue Ice: Travels in Antarctica and The Woman who Lived in a Tree and Other Perfect Strangers. His first novel, Rainmaker, was written out of a need to empower young people labeled coloured. It was a finalist for the 2009 European Union Literary Award.

He is married to the novelist and poet Patricia Schonstein.


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