Mark Gevisser is one of South Africa’s leading authors and journalists. His next book “Dispatcher”, about his personal relationship with his home-town Johannesburg, will be published by Farrar Straus Giroux and Atlantic Press in 2013.
Gevisser has been awarded an Open Society Followship for 2012/13 working on The Sexuality Frontier. During his fellowship he will be looking at the ways ideas about sexuality and gender identity are changing globally, and how this is changing the way people think about themselves and their worlds. He will travel to United States, India, Nepal, Russia, Hungary, Poland, China, Turkey, Lebanon, Senegal, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Brazil, Argentina and Western Europe.
Gevisser’s book A Legacy of Liberation: Thabo Mbeki and the Future of the South African Dream was published by Palgrave Macmillan in the UK, and by Jonathan Ball in South Africa under the title, Thabo Mbeki: The Dream Deferred. It was the winner of the Sunday Times 2008 Alan Paton Prize.
Gevisser was born in Johannesburg in 1964, and educated and King David and Redhill Schools. He graduated from Yale in 1987 with a degree magna cum laude in comparative literature and worked in New York as a high school teacher and writing for Village Voice and The Nation, before returning to South Africa in 1990. His journalism has appeared in publications and journals including Granta, the New York Times, Vogue, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Foreign Affairs, Public Culture and Art in America.
Gevisser has previously published two books – Defiant Desire, Gay and Lesbian Lives In South Africa which he co-edited with Edwin Cameron, and Portraits of Power: Profiles in a Changing South Africa, a collection of his celebrated political profiles from the Mail & Guardian. He has also published widely, in anthologies, on sexuality and on urbanism in South Africa. His publications on art include a biographical essay on Nicholas Hlobo and a response to William Kentridge and Gerhard Marx‘s The Firewalker. He has also published an essay on Thabo Mbeki‘s legacy.
Gevisser’s feature-length documentary, The Man Who Drove With Mandela, made with Greta Schiller, has been broadcast internationally, and won the Teddy Documentary Prize at the Berlin Film Festival in 1999. The film is an excavation of the life of Cecil Williams, the South African gay communist theatre director. Mark has also written scripts for the South African drama series Zero Tolerance; his scripts were short-listed for SAFTA and iEmmy awards.
Since 2002, Gevisser has been involved in heritage development. He co-led the team that developed the heritage, education and tourism components of Constitution Hill, and co-curated the Hill’s permanent exhibitions. He is a founder and associate of Trace, a heritage research and design company. His Exhibition Joburg Tracks was exhibited at Museum Africa. Gevisser works as a political analyst and public speaker; his clients have included several South African and multinational organisations and corporations.
From 2009 to 2011, Gevisser was Writing Fellow in the Humanities Faculty at the University of Pretoria, where he taught in the journalism programme and ran a programme on public intellectual activity. He is an experienced writing teacher, and has conducted narrative non-fiction workshops in South Africa and Kenya. In 2011, he was a Carnegie Equity Fellow at Wits University, and convened a major event at the university on creativity and memory featuring Nadine Gordimer, William Kentridge, Hugh Masakela, Zoe Zicomb and Chris van Wyk.
- Defiant Desire, Gay and Lesbian Lives In South Africa (1994)
- Portraits of Power: Profiles in a Changing South Africa (1996)
- Thabo Mbeki: The Dream Deferred (2007)
- Thabo Mbeki: The Dream Deferred – The Abridged International Edition (2009)
- A Legacy of Liberation: Thabo Mbeki and the Future of the South African Dream (2009)
1. Mark Gevisser Biography, Markgevisser.com. Accessed 27 September 2012
2. About Mark Gevisser, Books Live. Accessed 27 september 2012
3. Mark Gevisser, Jonathan Ball Publishers. Accessed 27 September 2012