Last weekend’s Guardian Review has a revealing profile on renowned Afrikaans author André Brink, who “since 1994 and the first democratic elections … has tried to write the kind of novel which, while not in any way agitprop or crude, tries to give that sense of the new historical movement” in South Africa.
In his own words, Brink is a little more straightforward in his assessment of his own place and responsibility as a writer:
Writing is a little like heaven and hell, you can’t do without either. Initially I started writing because I wanted to get to grips with things that had happened to me and around me. And it’s the same now. I know I will never get there completely, but that’s a good thing too because I would then probably stop writing.