Biography of André BRINKSouth Africa > Literature : André BRINK
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Born on 29/05/1935 (format : day/month/year)Biography :
André Brink (b.May 29, 1935), is South african , novelist, playwright, academic and mentor, professor and polemicist, is one of the most recognizable figures in South African literary circles.
In 2009; He brought out his book "A Fork in the Road", a Memoir.in which he declines to forget the granite years of apartheid, and it looks with alarm at what has happened to the ideals and illusions of those who imagined new freedoms would exorcise old demons
He was born in Vrede in the Orange Free State and began his studies at Potchefstroom University. From 1959 to1961 he did postgraduate research in Comparative Literature at the Sorbonne in Paris. Subsequently he taught Afrikaans and Dutch literature at Rhodes University in Grahamstown (1961 -1990), and English literature at the University of Cape Town (1991-2000) where he is now Emeritus Professor of English. He has lectured at universities and institutions on five continents, and has honorary doctorates from the universities of Witwatersrand, Free State, Pretoria, Rhodes and Montpellier. His much publicised novel Lobola vir die lewe (1962) represented a new direction in Afrikaans prose, a break within restrictive local traditions and an exposure to contemporary European trends. This novel brought him into close contact with the other leading Afrikaans writers of the sixties and he played a major role in their struggle against the harsh censorship system of the apartheid regime. His novel Kennis van die Aand (1973) became the first Afrikaans novel to be banned.
He started writing in English as well, and has published sixteen novels, including A Dry White Season (1979), A Chain of Voices (1982), An Act of Terror (1991), The Rights of Desire (2000) and The Other Side of Silence (2002). A new novel, Praying Mantis, is due to be published in 2005. In South Africa he has received the CNA Award for Literature three times (in both English and Afrikaans), as well as the Sunday Times Award for Fiction; in France the Prix Médicis Etranger; in Britain the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize and the Commonwealth Prize for Literature (Africa region); and in Italy the Premio Mondello. He is a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and a Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur.
Brink has twice been nominated for the prestigious Booker Award (in 1976 and in 1978) and has been on the shortlist for the Nobel Prize several times since 1979. His novels have been translated into some 26 languages, including Serbo-Croatian, Japanese and isiXhosa
Married three times, he is the father of four children. He has written passionately against apartheid, and several of his books were banned in South Africa. Brink has been not only a novelist but a professor of Afrikaans and Dutch literature and a translator into Afrikaans of Shakespeare, Henry James, Graham Greene, and Lewis Carroll, among others. As a writer, he composes his first draft in Afrikaans, rewrites it in English, then translates it back into Afrikaans, in order to most clearly express his thoughts.
Last update : 08/23/2011Update this page