Antjie Krog [ South Africa ]
Antjie Krog was born in 1952and grew up on a farm in the Orange Free State, South Africa. She completed a degree in Afrikaans, Philosophy and English at the University of the Orange Free State and obtained a Master’s degree from the University of Pretoria and a teaching diploma from the University of South Africa. She has conducted workshops in rural areas for the South African Congress of Writers and has worked closely with the Poetry School in Bloemfontein and the Poetry Laboratory at the University of Stellenbosch. With her first volume of poetry in Afrikaans, 'Dogter van Jefta' (1970), she provoked the literary public with her taboo-breaking style. Aside from poetry, Krog has published children’s books, a novel, and a literary account of the hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. 'Country of My Skull' (1998) is an attempt to reappraise the country’s past since the collapse of the Apartheid regime without bringing anyone to trial. Krog sensitively describes the historically unique debate between victims and perpetrators, and aims at persuading them to apologise, forgive, and become reconciled with one another. The book brought her international acclaim and was awarded the prize of the Hiroshima Foundation for Peace and Culture 2000. It has since been made into a film starring Juliette Binoche. In 1999 Krog was one of seven African poets who undertook a caravan trail along the former slave route from the coast of Africa to the legendary town of Timbuktu on the river Niger. 'A Change of Tongue' (2003) takes stock of events in South Africa during the first ten years after Apartheid. Through a collage of eclectic material – reports and interviews, fragments from poems, children’s rhymes, letters and newspaper articles – she offers a unique array of perspectives on the hopes and pains of radical change. Antjie Krog’s poetry, prose and non-fictional texts have won all the major awards in South Africa. She has been translated into five European languages, though as of yet, not German. Among the works Krog herself has translated into Afrikaans is Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, 'Long Walk to Freedom'. The author is married to the architect John Samuel, she has four children and lives in Cape Town. She is currently a professor extra-ordinary at the University of the Western Cape.
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