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RIP Andre Brink (1935 – 2015)

André P Brink

Celebrated novelist André Brink has passed away, at the age of 79.

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

Andre Brink

andre brink youngBrink was born on 29 May, 1935, in Vrede in the Free State. He matriculated in 1952 at the Lyndenburg High School, becoming only the second student in the then-Transvaal to achieve seven distinctions. He earned a BA at Potchefstroom University, and MA degrees in English (1958) and Afrikaans (1959), which he was awarded cum laude.

He then left South Africa to study comparative literature at the Sorbonne University in Paris, but returned in 1961 to take up a post in the Department of Afrikaans-Nederlands at Rhodes University in Grahamstown. He returned to Paris briefly in the mid-1960s, but headed up the Afrikaans-Nederlands at Rhodes from 1980 to 1990, when he moved to the University of Cape Town. He was emeritus professor at UCT at the time of his death.

Brink’s debut novel, Lobola vir die lewe, was published in 1962. He, Ingrid Jonker and Breyten Breytenbach were key figures in Die Sestigers, a literary movement in the 1960s that sought to use Afrikaans to speak against the apartheid government. Kennis van die aand, which came out in 1973, became the first Afrikaans book to be banned by the apartheid government.

André Brink Books with Anton Brink CoversIn 1976 An Instant in the Wind was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and in 1978 Rumours of Rain was a runner-up for the Booker Prize. In 1978 Brink won the CNA Literary Award for Rumours of Rain, and in 1980 he was awarded the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize (England) and the Prix Médicis Etranger (France) for A Dry White Season. In 1982 he won another CNA Literary Award for A Chain of Voices.

Brink’s awards are too numerous to list, but other highlights include the 1982 Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur: Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (France), the Monismanien Award for Human Rights (Sweden, 1992), the Hertzog Prize, twice (2000 and 2001), the 2003 Sunday Times Fiction Prize and Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa Region, Best Book) for The Other Side of Silence and the 2006 M-Net Literary Award for Praying Mantis.

In 2006 Brink was awarded The Order of Ikhamanga (silver) as well as a Literary Lifetime Achievement Award from the Department of Arts and Culture. The Medaille Grand Vermeil De La Ville Award, the highest decoration of the city of Paris, was bestowed on Brink in 2013. The Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) named Brink as the winner of the 2014 ACT Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature last year.

Brink was one of South Africa’s most versatile literary figures, a novelist, dramatist, travel writer, translator, critic and academic, and his books have been translated in more than 30 languages. His most recent novel was Philida.

Books LIVE extends condolences to Brink’s family and friends, and his wife, Karina Magdalena Szczurek.

    Related news:


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

Karina Szczurek and André brink

Andre Brink, a Portrait

Antjie Krog and André Brink

Salman Rushdie and André Brink

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!

Top photograph courtesy Victor Dlamini


Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Rustum Kozain</a>
    Rustum Kozain
    February 7th, 2015 @10:52 #

    Sad news. Hamba kahle.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Henrietta</a>
    February 7th, 2015 @12:02 #

    Rest in peace. Condolences to Karina and all who loved Andre.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Gabeba</a>
    February 7th, 2015 @17:34 #

    A day of loss.

    Solace to all, and peace to Andre.


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