Kerneels Breytenbach

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Kerneels Breytenbach (1952-) is a journalist, novelist, influential arts, music and theatre critic, arts editor and publisher.


Born Cornelis Tobias (Kerneels) Breytenbach on 13 April 1952 in Emmarentia, Johannesburg.

His schooling was at the Laerskool Generaal Alberts and the Hoërskool Alberton, where he wrote matric in 1969.

After a year in the South African army, he went to the University of Stellenbosch (1971-1975), to complete a BA degree, followed by a Masters degree in Afrikaans literature with D.J. Opperman.

In 1977 he married Carien Hoffman, who passed away in March 2016.

His career

He began work as journalist for Beeld in Johannesburg and then moved to Die Burger in Cape Town, where he reviewed books, plays and especially music. He became the Arts Editor (1976 tot 1989). He then joined the publishing house Human en Rousseau, and in 1994 took over as managing director. In 2001 het Tafelberg en Human en Rousseau amalgamated and became NB-Uitgewers, with Hannes van Zyl as managing director and Breytenbach as head of publishing.

His writing started with a high school play , but his first published fiction - a collection of sahort stories entitled Morsdood van die Honger (lit. "very dead of hunger") appeared in 1992 and a first novel Glimlag, in 1993.

In 2009 he retired from publishing to devote himself seriously to writing, completing a number of novels and other works.


Erika Terblanche. 2016. "Kerneels Breytenbach (1952–)" in ATKV|LitNet-Skrywersalbum (2016-07-20)[1]

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