Rian Malan (born 1954 in Johannesburg) is an author, journalist, documentarian and songwriter. He first rose to prominence as the author of the memoir My Traitor’s Heart, which, like the bulk of his work, deals with South African society in a historical and contemporary perspective and focuses on racial relations.
Malan grew up in a middle-class and pro-apartheid Afrikaner family in a white suburb of Johannesburg. He attended the then Witwatersrand University for a year. To avoid conscription, which was compulsory for all white males, he moved to Los Angeles in 1977 and worked as a journalist. As a journalist, he has written for major newspapers in South Africa, Great Britain and the USA.
His most recent publication is Resident Alien, a provocative and engaging collection of the best of his writings that have appeared in the likes of The New Yorker, Rolling Stone and Esquire, since My Traitor’s Heart.