Breyten Breytenbach 1939–
South African poet and painter.
Breytenbach, an important Afrikaans poet and an avowed opponent of apartheid and colonialism, is currently serving a nine-year prison term in South Africa. Breytenbach left South African in 1959; he eventually settled in Paris and married a Vietnamese woman. The South African government refused to grant his wife a visa until 1972 when the Breytenbachs were allowed to come to South Africa for a three-month visit. A Season in Paradise recounts, in a hectic mixture of prose and poetry, his emotions during this trip. A subsequent journey in 1975 under an assumed identity led to his imprisonment under the Terrorist Act.
A compatriot writer, André Brink, has concerned himself with the affair and writes, "It is a wry comment on the literary world that it should require a nine-year prison sentence to bring the work of the major Afrikaans poet, Breyten Breytenbach, the attention of a larger public."