South African writer awarded Polish int’l prize

South African writer and painter Breyten Breytenbach has won an international literary award named after Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert. A panel of renowned literary critics announced their decision at the Polish Theatre in Warsaw on Monday, The Polish Radio reports.

Breytenbach is regarded for his writing in the Afrikaans language.

He was a strong opponent of South Africa’s apartheid policy. He moved to Paris in 1960. Ten years later, publication of his work in South Africa was banned and when in 1975 he visited his homeland, he was jailed on terrorism charges for seven years.

Following his release in 1982, he moved to Paris and became a French citizen.

Some of his best-known works include collections of poetry entitled ‘The Iron Cow Must Sweat’ (1964) and ‘Footnote’ (1976) and memoirs based on his time in jail, including ‘Mouroir: Mirror Notes of a Novel’ (1983).

Breytenbach will receive the award in Warsaw on 25 May.

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