André P. Brink

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(1935-) World renowned Afrikaans novelist, playwright, critic, director and literary scholar. Born André Phillipus Brink in Vrede in the Orange Free State, he studied at at the University of Potchefstroom for CHE, he has an M.A in English and a Doctorate in Afrikaans and Dutch. Spent some time in Paris in the early 1960s and became a member of the influential Sestigers movement among Afrikaans writers and the Skrywersgilde ("Writers' Guild") of the 1980s. One time chair of Afrikaans-Nederlands at Rhodes University, later professor in English at the University of Cape Town. Has been married 4 times, inter alia briefly to actress, playwright and academic Salomi Louw (1965-66) and theatre designer and costumier Alta Muller (1970-87). He has translated most of his novels into English, and enjoys a worldwide reputation as anti-apartheid activist and writer. Has won a number of awards from a variety of countries. As a critic he for a while during the 1980s was considered the most powerful writer in the country, writing and editing his own literature pages in the Rapport, the most widely read Sunday newspaper in the country. As dramatist and drama critic he has been enormously influential. His thesis, published as a book Aspekte van die Nuwe Drama (“Aspects of the New Drama” – 1974, expanded and reprinted 198*) has long provided one of the cornerstones for the development of Afrikaans playwriting and theatre criticism, while his early one-act plays in the absurd style - Die Tas ("The suitcase”) , Die Trommel (“The trunk”) and Die **, collectively published as Bagasie (“Baggage”), his full length works in the style (Elders Mooiweer en Warm, Pavane), political-historical plays on the early South African history (Die Verhoor - “The Trial”, ***, Afrikaners is Plesierig – “Afrikaners are funloving”) and his later comic adaptations of Shakespeare (Kinkels in die Kabel – “A Comedy of Errors”) and J.M. Synge (Bobaas van die Boendoe – “Playboy of the Western World”) have become an essential part of the Afrikaans dramatic canon of the nineteen-seventies and –eighties and were often performed. His post-apartheid play, Die Jogger (“The Jogger”, 1997) won awards for performances in 1997 and was published in the same year. Brink was awarded the Hertzog Prize for Drama in 1999?/2000? for the play, with consideration of the rest of his dramatic oeuvre. He is also a formidable translator, and among his translations and adaptations for the stage are The Story of an African Farm (PACT, directed by Ken Leach, starring Annelisa Weiland at the Alexander Theatre, 1975), Hedda Gabler (19**), ‘n Lang Dagreis na die Nag (A Long Day’s Journey into Night, 2008) Judge for the Nagtegaalprys for Drama in 2003. (See: De Beer, 1995, **, )


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