Novelist, playwright, academic and mentor, professor and polemicist, André Brink is one of the most recognizable figures in South African literary circles. In this Great Texts / Big Questions lecture, presented by the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts, Brink will discuss Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes.
Andre Brink won world renown in the sixties for his opposition to apartheid, articulated in powerful novels such as Kennis van die Aand (Looking on Darkness), the first Afrikaans novel to be banned. 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. Brink taught at the University of Cape Town from 1991-2000 where he was also Emeritus Professor of English until 2006.
His novels, which have been published in 33 languages, include Rumours of Rain (1978); A Dry White Season (1979); A Chain of Voices (1982); An Act of Terror (1991); The First Life of Adamastor (1993) and The Rights of Desire (2000). His most recent novels are The Other Side of Silence (2002), Before I Forget (2004), Praying Mantis (2005), The Blue Door (2006) and Other Lives (2008). He recently published A Fork in the Road (2009), his autobiography. He has won numerous awards, including the Hertzog Prize both in 2000 (Drama) and 2001 (Fiction) and the National Book Journalist of the Year Award. Brink also won the Prix Mdicis Etranger (France), the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize (Britain) and the Premio Mondello (Italy). Marlon Brando was nominated for an Academy Award for his role in Euzhan Palcy’s acclaimed 1989 film adaptation of Brink’s A Dry White Season. Brink has been short-listed for the Booker Prize twice, and was a Nobel Prize nominee. He is a prolific bilingual novelist, playwright and editor who translates his own work and has also published extensively in the field of literary criticism and journalism. In 2006 Brink was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga (Silver), one of SA’s highest honours, for “excellent contribution to literature and fighting for a just and democratic society.”