YOU MAKE ME POSSIBLE: THE LOVE LETTERS OF KARINA M. SZCZUREK & ANDRÉ BRINK
Selected and edited by Karina M. Szczurek
She was based in Austria, married and only twenty-seven years old at the time; he was single, but already sixty-nine and, after four failed marriages, full of apprehension. The intense correspondence which followed in the weeks after their encounter in Vienna recounts the couple’s courtship, revealing not only their initially unacknowledged attraction, but also their hopes, fears and longings. Planning to meet again in Paris on 14 March 2005, they write a new world of recognition and possibility into being…
In October 2005, Karina relocated to Cape Town and asked André to marry her a few months later. The two writers shared a decade of love until his death in February 2015. In her memoir, The Fifth Mrs Brink (2017), Karina told the story of their ten years as a couple. Intimate, daring, and full of wonder, You Make Me Possible takes us back to the very beginning of their romance.
Are you my everlasting, redeeming kiss of life?
— André Brink, 1 January 2005
From my NOTE ON THE BOOK:
The title I chose for this collection derives from something I said to André when I visited him in Cape Town for the second time. Unbeknownst to me, he noted the words in his diary on 5 July 2005: “I love you because you make me possible.” He used the sentence for one of his characters in The Blue Door (2006). I commented on the statement when reading the manuscript and André reminded me that I had said those very words to him once and that he found them memorable. It was only after his death that I discovered the note he made in his diary. The quote felt like the most appropriate title for a compilation of our letters which contains our hopes and the recognition, against all odds, of a possible future for us as a couple. The fact that we made all those dreams and wishes come true, not only on paper but also in reality, was a miracle I will continue celebrating for the rest of my life.
I will always be grateful to André for believing in us, and for all the love. Also, with his encouragement and support I was able to acknowledge the fact that I was a writer and that this would be forever my way of being in the world. He was an inspiration to many other writers and he was always generous with his time and expertise in furthering the literary careers of others. It is therefore my wish to establish a literary prize in his honour with the royalties from this book.
LitNet interview about You Make Me Possible with Naomi Meyer and Liné Enslin.
I will be speaking about You Make Me Possible at the:
Woordfees on Wednesday, 6 March 2019, at 12:30, in the ATKV Boektent, and the
KKNK on Friday, 22 March 2019, at 15:30.
Review of You Make Me Possible: by Elkarien Fourie, LitNet, 25 February 2019.
“In a translucently honest and open-hearted gesture, Karina Szczurek shares letters of love, hope and intimacy between herself and writer André Brink, in a book that, unwittingly, they wrote together.” 4 May 2020