Breyten Breytenbach

Bonnievale (1939). He matriculated at the Hoërskool Hugenoot in Wellington in 1957 and studied at the University of Cape Town. He became a committed opponent of apartheid and left South Africa in 1960, settling in Paris in 1962 with his Viëtnamese wife Yolande Ngo Thi Hoang Lien. When Breyten Breytenbach returned to South Africa with a false passport in 1975, he was arrested, charged under the Terrorism Act, and jailed for seven years. After his release he returned to Paris where he obtained French citizenship. (His prison memoir: The True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist ) He currently divides his time between Europe, South Africa and USA.

He joined the University of Cape Town as a visiting professor in the Graduate School of Humanities for three years (from January 2000). He is serving in the departments of English and Drama and is teaching creative writing in the first semester of each year. He is also involved with the Gorée Institute in Dakar, Senegal and with the University of New York, where he serves in the Graduate School of Creative Writing.

Breytenbach is also known for his paintings, many of which portray surreal animal and human figures, often in captivity. He has exhibited in many countries.

Book on Breytenbach: The I of the beholder - The identity formation in the art of Breyten Breytenbach, Marilet Sienaert, Kwela Books, 2002

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