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Friday, February 19, 2016


A biography of the late André Brink written by Leon de Kock will be published in 2018 by Umuzi.

De Kock, who currently teaches at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, is a South African writer, translator, and academic who recently translated Brink’s letters to the poet Ingrid Jonker for the book Flame in the Snow.

Brink died on February 6 2015 while travelling back to South Africa after receiving an honorary doctorate from a university in Belgium.

De Kock’s most recent book, due for release later this year, is titled Losing the Plot: Crime, Reality, and Fiction in Postapartheid Writing. Other authored and co-authored works include South Africa in the Global Imaginary and Civilising Barbarians: Missionary Narrative and African Textual Response in Nineteenth-Century South Africa.

De Kock has received the Pringle Prize for poetry, the SALA award for literary translation, the Pringle Prize for a scholarly article, and the SA Translators Institute Award for Outstanding Translation for his rendering of Marlene van Niekerk’s Triomf, among other prizes.

Speaking about the biography, De Kock says: “The stories surrounding Brink’s novels are, in the main, stories of a sociopolitical nature – sagas about censorship, resistance to apartheid, Sestiger culture, harassment, and then, later still, postapartheid disappointment. The through-line is how Afrikaner dissidence during an epochal period finds narrative form in the novels of Brink, and how the novels carry a developing, formal narrative dialogue with South African conditions over roughly six decades.”

The publication will be an authorised biography and the biographer will be granted access to Brink’s personal papers by his widow, Karina Brink.