Mandla Langa Pays Tribute to German Nobel Laureate, Author and Activist Günter Grass

15 Apr 2015
Günter Grass

I was part of a group of African writers who were fortunate enough to meet Mr Günter Grass at a PEN Germany Benefit Gala in November 2014. It was a fascinating evening where the German literati participated in readings – some featuring translated works of writers in exile from Africa, Asia and Latin America – and panel discussions. The night was rounded off with an auction of artifacts, paintings, sketches and miscellaneous memorabilia from Günter Grass. Introduced by German PEN President, Josef Haslinger, we shook hands and chatted with Günter Grass, all the time aware we were in the midst of greatness.

He lived long and large, a quiet bon vivant with a deadpan sense of humour.

He will be remembered.

Mandla Langa, Executive Vice President of PEN South Africa