As novelist, as journalist, as critic, as teacher, Andre Brink has been both witness and protagonist in the astonishing transition of South Africa from repressive police state to emergent democracy. An Afrikaner with a keen interesting his own tradition and an implacable enemy of apartheid, a widely translated novelist and a lecturer with an international reputation, Brink's total commitment to individual and political freedom has been consistent for over three decades. The work collected here is drawn from lectures, essays and journalism of the past ten years. Ranging in tone from academic speculation to bare-knuckled polemic, with the occasional gleam of personal reminiscence, they interweave to form a vision of a decade in which the habits of centuries were hurled, by choice, into reverse. Defining the role of the writer in wider society was no longer an abstract theme to stir debate, but pressing and dangerous necessity. The world of letters had to confront the urgent need to open up the franchise, hand over the levers and the engines of power - the need, in short, to reinvent an entire continent.
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Andre Brink was born in South Africa in 1935. He is author of eleven novels: The Ambassador, Looking on Darkness, An Instant in the Wind, Rumours of Rain, A Dry White Season, A Chain of Voices, The Wall of the Plague, States of Emergency, An act of Terror, The First Life of Adamastor and On the Contrary .He has won the most important South African literary prize, the CNA Award, three times and his novels have twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1976 and 1978. In 1980 he received the Martin Luther King Prize, and in France the Prix Medicis Etranger. In 1982 he was made a Chevalier of Legion d'Honneur and in1987 was named Officer de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, promoted in 1993 to Commandeur. Andre Brink is Professor of English at the University of Cape Town. He has three sons and a daughter.
Reinventing a Continent by Andre Brink
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