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Memories of Andre Brink

André P Brink

Memories of André Brink are flooding in on social media and online.

Brink passed away this morning, at the age of 79, while returning from Belgium, where he had been awarded an honorary doctorate from the Belgian Francophone Université catholique de Louvain (UCL).

Read our obituary:

* * * * *

Lauren Beukes, on working with him as a supervisor:

“I shanghaied him a little bit because he was going for a more literary angle and I came through with this crazy novel, and he went with it and adapted to it.”

Stephen Johnson, one of Brink’s publishers and former CEO of both Random House and Penguin Books:

“There was his innovation in fiction: he was creating new boundaries constantly with everything he published. There was his versatility – criticism, plays, novels, translation – he did them all better than anyone – as no one else could, frankly.

“He is unique in SA letters – there’s no one that can hold a candle to his kind of creativity. The flair that he brought to his work, coupled with a profound depth of insight, was truly second to none.”

Alida Potgieter, former fiction editor at Human & Rousseau, Brink’s long-time publisher:

“This is a very sad day for the South African literary world, and for all of us who knew André well. It was a huge honour and privilege working for so many years with an author of André Brink’s intellectual and creative stature, one of the few Afrikaans authors of international standing. I will never forget his always courteous manner, his always heartfelt appreciation for one’s involvement and work with his manuscripts.”

Kerneels Breytenbach, Brink’s great friend and publication manager at NB Publishers:

“It was a great honour publishing an author of André Brink’s stature, an author who was always modest although he had every reason not to be.”

Tributes from Facebook, shared with permission:

Rustum W Kozain

RIP Andre Brink.

I remember getting a copy of (banned) Kennis van die aand, wrapped in brown paper, from an Afrikaans teacher. Maybe it was Mnr Mathee, in Std 7, at KN. It blew my mind – al die gevloekery en die genaiery oor die kleurgrens, en dit alles in Afrikaans.

Then a friend, whose older brother was at university, leant me his ‘n Droë wit seisoen and Hou-den-Bek. Soon it was Die muur van die pes, which I found a bit too close to Kennis van die Aand.

As a junior colleague of his at UCT way back then, I always found him warm and friendly. Fragments of UCT apocrypha have it that he used to type his novels in Afrikaans and English simultaneously, commanding a keyboard with each of his hands …

Reply by Charles Leonard

Mine was Orgie – as school lightie. The book that made the biggest impression though was ‘n Droë wit seisoen – a major impact on my political consciousness.

Reply by John Eppel

I’m very sorry. He was guest speaker at the launch of my third novel, The Giraffe Man – Bulawayo. His wife at the time was a wonderful person called Maresa de Beer. I was suffering from double middle ear infections, so I missed most of the proceedings. Andre was kind to me.

Reply by Mandy De Waal

Sjoe. Incredibly sad. I read A Dry White Season as a child. It changed me forever.

Reply by AC Fick

I am grateful to have learnt much from his Honours seminars, and for his guidance in further graduate study. One of three university teachers who helped me learn what reading could do.

Reply by Helen Moffett

He was endlessly kind. And generous to other writers, students, strugglers. There is no better tribute: He was kind.

Reply by Tlhalo Raditlhalo

I read his recreation of the slave revolt in the Cape led by Galant [A Chain of Voices]. It changed me forever. The brutishness, the nastiness, and I remembered Nat Turner. I will forever think it is his best novel yet, but that’s just me. Thanks André!

As a black person, you get a perspective unlike any of what it meant to be a slave. Book deserves a movie just like 12 Years a Slave.

PhilidaDevil's ValleyLooking on DarknessAn Instant in the WindThe Other Side of SilenceA Chain of VoicesOther Lives

Mediterreense herinneringeBidsprinkaanPhilidaDie eerste lewe van AdamastorDonkermaanHoud-Den-Bek

By AC Fick:

André Brink was born in Vrede (Peace) in the Orange Free State in late colonial South Africa, into an Afrikaner family, and pursued the routes and ways of his times, reaching adulthood just as the country passed out of the arena of the crumbling British Empire into the hands of the white supremacist, Afrikaner Christian nationalist apartheid regime.

Nothing in his early history indicated any signs of the radical shift he would undergo later.

Related news:

Tributes from Twitter:

Book details

  • Rise and Fall of Apartheid: Photography and the Bureaucracy of Everyday Life edited by Okwui Enwezor, Rory Bester
    EAN: 9783791352800
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

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