André Brink furthers his exploration of racial tension in south africa
by Andre Brink
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André Brink’s new trilogy of novellas, Other Lives, presents his fans with a conundrum: Is the lurching, overstated quality of these stories a lapse for Brink? Or is it part of a calculated effort to approach, from an intentionally awkward angle, some of the issues that have long preoccupied this fine South African writer: the unknowability of the people closest to us; the relationship between race and identity; the abrasion of the political by the personal?
Brink, now seventy-two, is the author of many acclaimed works, including the masterful A Dry White Season, published in 1979 and recently reissued in this country. In that novel, a Boer schoolteacher’s sympathy for a black employee whose son has died at the hands of the security police results in the systematic dismantling of a great many lives, his own
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