Mark was born in Johannesburg in 1964, and graduated from Yale University in 1987 with a BA magna cum laude. His books include Defiant Desire: Gay and Lesbian Lives in South Africa (1994), which he edited with Edwin Cameron; Portraits of Power: Profiles in a Changing South Africa (1996), a collection of his celebrated profiles from the Mail & Guardian; Thabo Mbeki: The Dream Deferred, which won the 2008 Sunday Times Alan Paton Award for Non-Fiction; and Lost and Found in Johannesburg: A Memoir (2012), which was shortlisted for both the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award and the Jan Michalski Prize for World Literature. He wrote and produced a feature-length documentary film, The Man Who Drove With Mandela(1998), which won the Teddy Award for Best Documentary at the 1999 Berlin Film Festival, and he has been shortlisted for an International Emmy for one of his scripts for the crime series, Zero Tolerance (2004). His journalism has appeared in publications ranging from The New York Times and The Guardian and Granta to most of the South African newspapers.
He is also a curator – responsible for the permanent exhibitions at Constitution Hill, amongst others – and a teacher of narrative non-fiction writing. He has run workshops for the Commonwealth Foundation and several South African newspapers and taught journalism at the University of Pretoria.
His next book, The Pink Line: Travels Across the World’s New Queer Frontiers, will be published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux (US) and Jonathan Ball (SA) in 2018.