Return To Paradise by Breyten Breytenbach
(Harvest Book)

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Synopsis

The painter, writer, and political activist returns to his native South Africa, where he was once imprisoned for working for the African National Congress, and reflects on the decline of apartheid and his own attachment to the Boer state. 10,000 first printing.
 

About Breyten Breytenbach

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Breyten Breytenbach was born in Bonnievale, Western Cape in the Western Cape, approximately 180nbsp;km from Cape Town and 100nbsp;km from the southernmost tip of Africa at Cape Agulhas. He studied fine arts at the University of Cape Town and became a committed opponent of the policy of apartheid. He left South Africa for Paris in the early 1960s. When he married a French woman of Vietnamese ancestry, he was not allowed to return: The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act (1949) and The Immorality Act (1950) made it a criminal offence for a white person to have any sexual relations with a person of a different race.In France he was a founder member of Okhela, a resistance group fighting apartheid in exile. On an illegal trip to South Africa in 1975 he was betrayed, arrested and sentenced to seven years of imprisonment for high treason: his work The True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist describes aspects of his imprisonment. Released in 1982 as a result of massive international intervention he returned to Paris and obtained French citizenship.He currently divides his time between Europe, Africa, and the United States. He joined the University of Cape Town as a visiting professor in the Graduate School of Humanities (from January 2000) and is also involved with the Gorée Institute in Dakar (Senegal) and with New York University, where he teaches in the Graduate Creative Writing Program.The work of Breytenbach includes numerous volumes of poetry, novels, and essays, many of which are in Afrikaans, many translated from Afrikaans to English, and many published originally in English. He is also known for his works of pictorial arts. Exhibitions of his paintings and prints were shown in numerous cities around the world including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Hong Kong, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Paris, Brussels, Edinburgh and New York. Breytenbach was described as the only example of a "nice South African" in the song "I've Never Met A Nice South African". The song was written by John Lloyd for the satirical British TV series, Spitting Image.He is the brother of Jan Breytenbach, founder of the South African Special Forces, and Cloete Breytenbach, a widely published war correspondent.
 
Published September 30, 1993 by David Phillips Publishers. 240 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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In what is developing as a series of journals of visits back home to South Africa (A Season in Paradise, 1980, recounted a secret incursion in 1974), Paris-based Afrikaans poet and activist ex-prisoner Breytenbach (Memory of Snow and Dust, 1989, etc.) here faces a homeland that now will admit him...

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Publishers Weekly

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In lush, poetic, sometimes brutal imagery, Afrikaner painter, poet and anti-apartheid activist Breytenbach ( A Season in Paradise , etc.) describes the travail of his country riven by racial conflict.

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Publishers Weekly

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Afrikaner and apartheid activist Breytenbach examines South Africa's political and social turmoil with a careful, critical eye.

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London Review of Books

This book is a sort of ‘Dylan Thomas in Africa’, with the difference that Breytenbach has written this one himself and cares about the continent he’s travelling through and getting drunk in.

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