About André Brink
André Brink was born in Vrede in 1935. In his eventful life (certain details of which can be found in a short biography, below) he has written over sixty books – see selected bibliography – which have been published in thirty-three languages and have received numerous prestigious prizes.
André is the eldest of Aletta and Daniel Brink’s four children. The youngest and André’s only brother Johan is a physicist. The younger of the two sisters, Marita, is a psychologist and André’s other sister, Elsabe, also an author, died in 1998.
André’s father, a magistrate, was re-posted every couple of years, so André grew up and went to school in several different villages and towns in South Africa: Vrede, Jagersfontein, Brits, Douglas, Sabie and Lydenburg.
His mother, a teacher, inspired his love of literature, especially the English classics.
Significant literary dates:
1952 Matric at Lydenburg
1953-59 University of Potchefstroom
1959-61 First Paris years
1961-90 André begins as lecturer and leaves as professor of Dutch and Afrikaans Literature at Rhodes University, Grahamstown
1962 one of the founders of the Sestigers
1963 Reina Prinsen-Geerligs Prize for Lobola vir die lewe
1964 Central News Agency (CNA) Literary Award for Olé
1967-68 Second Paris years
1974 Kennis van die aand banned; André begins to write and publish in English
1976 An Instant in the Wind shortlisted for the Booker Prize
1978 Rumours of Rain runner-up for the Booker Prize
1978 CNA Literary Award for Rumours of Rain
1980 Martin Luther King Memorial Prize (England) for Dry White Season
1980 Prix Médicis Etranger (France) for Dry White Season
1982 CNA Literary Award for A Chain of Voices
1982 Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur: Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (France)
1990-2005 Professor of English Literature at UCT
1992 Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France)
1992 Monismanien Award for Human Rights (Sweden)
1997 Premio Mondello (Italy) for Imaginings of Sand
2003 Sunday Times Fiction Prize for The Other Side of Silence
2003 Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa Region, Best Book) for The Other Side of Silence
2005 Before I Forget shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa Region, Best Book)
2005 Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur: Officier de la Légion d’Honneur (France)
2006 Praying Mantis shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Africa Region, Best Book)
2006 Praying Mantis shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (for fiction)
2006 M-Net Literary Award for Praying Mantis
2006 University of Johannesburg Award for Creative Writing in Afrikaans for Bidsprinkaan
2006 Praying Mantis, runner-up for the Sunday Times Fiction Prize
2006 The Order of Ikhamanga (silver) (South Africa)
2006 Literary Lifetime Achievement Award from the Department of Arts and Culture
Children: Anton, previously a physicist at Wits University, is a painter in Grahamstown; Gustav, a lawyer, lives in Pretoria; Danie is a computer specialist and lives in the Caribbean; and Sonja, a wonderful mom and a great cook, lives in Gordon’s Bay.
Grandchildren: Jandré, Carolien, Marilize, André, Michael and Ilyo.
André is a guardian, tutor and a nanny (as she prefers to call him) to Olga-Noxolo.
He lives and works in Rosebank, Cape Town.
Present publishers for Afrikaans and English:
Liepman Agency, Zürich
Georges Borchardt Literary Agency, New York