Chris Minaar is a distinguished South African writer, an old writer, but a writer who has lost whatever gift he had for writing. It is on New Year's Eve, courtesy of his stalled car, that he meets Rachel, a young sculptress who becomes the great love of his life, a love greater for being unfulfilled.
He finds himself captivated by Rachel and drawn into a close friendship with her husband. As their friendship develops, Chris must reconcile himself to an unaccustomed type of intimacy but one that inevitably threatens this precarious triangular relationship.
Woven through this is the story of his life and of a lifetime's loving. For he has known many women. As it becomes clear that this book is the final writing act of Chris's creative life, so we understand that these recollections are an attempt to bring order to an otherwise chaotic existence.
Before I Forget is the history of a life set against the history of a nation, and the history of a transforming love.
Andre Brink (1935 - 2015) was one of South Africa's most prominent writers and is the author of several novels, including A Dry White Season, Imaginings of Sand, The Rights of Desire, The Other Side of Silence and Philida. He has won South Africa's most important literay prize, the CNA Award, three times and has twice been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. His last novel, Philida, was longlisted for the Booker Prize in 2012.