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Thursday, February 26, 2015


(André P Brink accepting his award at the 2014 ACT Awards)

It is with great sadness that the Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) has learnt the news of André P Brink’s passing at the age of 79.

“Our hearts are filled with sorrow and we extend our sincere condolences to Mr Brink’s family and friends. He is a true South African icon and literary giant. He leaves behind a proud legacy of remarkable achievements. He won numerous awards and we are immensely honoured that among those is an ACT Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature, which the ACT Board had the privilege of bestowing on him in 2014,” says Pieter Jacobs, CEO of ACT.

Brink passed away while returning from Amsterdam after receiving an honorary doctorate from the Belgian Francophone Université catholique de Louvain (UCL). At the time of his passing, he was a Professor Emeritus of the University of Cape Town.

Born in Vrede in the Free State in 1935, Brink is the author of numerous plays, works of non-fiction, and novels including Instant in the Wind, Rumours of Rain, Imaginings of Sand, The rights of Desire, The Other side of Silence and recently, Philida, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2012. His novel Dry White Season was adapted for the screen in 1989 and starred Marlon Brando, Susan Sarandon and Donald Sutherland. His novel Kennis van die Aand saw Brink being the first Afrikaans writer’s work to be banned by the Apartheid censors in 1973.

His impressive archive of phenomenal works (that have been translated into 36 languages) earned him, amongst others, the CNA Award (three times), the Hertzog Prize (twice), and he was also shortlisted for the Booker Prize (twice). Brink is the recipient of the Prix Médicis Ètranger, Premio Mondello, Monismanien Human Rights Award, the Martin Luther King Memorial Prize, and the Commonwealth Literature Prize for the Africa region.