Bryce Courtenay

One of Australia's most popular authors

Bryce was born illegitimately in 1933 to dressmaker Maude Jasmine Greer.

He spent his first five years in the small town of Barberton in the Lebombo Mountains (Limpopo Province) of South Africa.

He had a difficult childhood, the son of a single mother who hit tough times during the Depression, and spent part of his early years at a boarding school before attending the prestigious King Edward VII School in Johannesburg.

After school, he worked in the mines in Rhodesia until, at age 20, he had enough money to go to England to study at the London School of Journalism.

In 1955 Bryce met Benita Solomon and followed her to Sydney, Australia. They married in 1959 and had three sons, Brett, Adam and Damon.

Starting as a junior copywriter at advertising agency McCann Erickson at age 26, Courtenay became one of the industry's most successful creative directors. He worked in advertising for decades.

At the age of 55 he decided to follow his dream and wrote his first novel.

Benita and Bryce

Bryce, his wife, Benita, and his three sons, Adam, Brett and Damon.


Bryce's first novel, THE POWER OF ONE, was published in 1989, and quickly became a best-seller. THE POWER OF ONE was made into a 1992 movie, starring Morgan Freeman and Stephen Dorff.

Click any image below to visit the webpage I created for that novel.

A message from Bryce Courtenay, the master story-teller, to his readers, shortly before his death.

When I was living in South Africa, I was able to see a portion of the movie, THE POWER OF ONE. When I returned to the USA, I rented the movie, and loved it so much that I watched till the very end, through all of the credits, which is not usual for me to do. It was then that I learned that the movie was based upon Bryce's first novel.

I then bought a used copy of the book off of the new website, Amazon.com. After receiving the book, I noticed that it was a Book Club Edition. After a bit of research, I knew I had to have a first edition. My love of reading and my obsession with collecting books related to southern Africa stem from watching THE POWER OF ONE and then reading Bryce's novel.