Karina was his fifth bride – and the love of André Brink’s life. Now she celebrates his memory.
“He knew all of me but never preyed on my weaknesses; he only ever believed in the best of me and thus made me thrive in my strengths.”
Karina Szczurek, widow of acclaimed South African author and academic André Brink who died last year, is explaining what she meant when she dedicated her first novel, Invisible Others, published in 2014, “to André who saved me from myself”.
Quietly spoken, yet engaging, the Polish-born Szczurek, who has made an impact as a writer and literary critic in South Africa, elaborates: “By believing in my writing and encouraging it every day, André made me finally realise that I was a writer and that it was a viable way of being in the world for me. Until I met him I mostly wrote for the proverbial drawer. Also, because he trusted me with his own writing, we became each other’s first readers. When somebody of André’s calibre believes in you, you can’t help but grow.”