Celebrated South African author André P Brink died at the age of 79, on his way back from Europe after receiving an honorary degree in Belgium. The novelist suffered a stroke last year and was confined to a wheelchair. Brink was born on 29 May 1935, in Vrede, a small town in the Free State. He was a literature professor at the University of Cape Town at the time of his death.
Brink wrote in both English and Afrikaans, and was a key figure in the Afrikaans literary movement Die Sestigers in the 1960s – along with Ingrid Jonker and Breyten Breytenbach. The movement sought to use Afrikaans as a language to speak against the apartheid government.
In 1973 his novel Kennis van die Aand, which he also translated to the English title Looking on Darkness, was banned by the apartheid government. His 1979 novel, A Dry White Season, was turned into a film in 1989 and starred actors such as Marlon Brando, Donald Sutherland, Zakes Mokae and Susan Sarandon. The novel, set in South Africa in 1976 and focused on the death in detention of a black activist, was also banned.