A Dry White Season (novel)

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A Dry White Season (Afrikaans: ’n Droë wit seisoen) is a 1979 novel by Afrikaner novelist André Brink. The novel focuses on the death during detention of a man wrongly suspected of being black activist.[1] The novel challenges apartheid, depicting the transformation of a ruling class Afrikaner's opposition to the governing, white supremacist regime.[2] The novel was initially banned in South Africa, though Brink published 3000 copies published through an underground press.[2]

The novel was adapted into a 1989 film which starred Donald Sutherland, Zakes Mokae and Susan Sarandon. The film was subsequently banned in South Africa.[3]


Reception of the novel was generally positive, and praising the novel's critique of apartheid, The Christian Science Monitor was generally positive about the book, though noted that it has elements of being a "white book."[2] The New York Times called the novel a "both an expose and a passionate appeal for social justice" and that the novel was an excellent piece of work which "demonstrates André Brink's continuing refinement of his fictional technique".[4]

The novel was awarded the 1980 Martin Luther King Memorial Prize.[5]


  1. ^ Thorpe, Vanessa (2015-02-07). "André Brink, anti-apartheid novelist and campaigner, dies aged 79". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-02-27. 
  2. ^ a b c Goodwin, June. "Novel for foreigners who want to understand the Afrikaner; A Dry White Season, by Andre Brink. New York: William Morrow & Co. $10.95". Christian Science Monitor. ISSN 0882-7729. Retrieved 2016-02-27. 
  3. ^ Ebert, Roger. "A Dry White Season," Chicago Sun-Times (Sept. 22, 1989).
  4. ^ Watkins, Mel (March 23, 1980). "A Novelist's Impassioned Indictment". New York Times Books. 
  5. ^ Carolyn Turgeon, "A Dry White Season" at encyclopedia.com.