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Author Focus

Mark Behr
Biographical info

Mark Carl Behr was born in the Oljorro district, Arusha, Tanzania on October 19, 1963. He grew up in South Africa and attended Drakensberg Boys School for two years. He matriculated at Port Natal High School and studied at the University of Stellenbosch.

Mark then furthered his studies in Norway and America. His first novel, Die reuk van appels was published in 1993. This book and its translation received a number of awards (CNA, Eugène Marais, and M-Net Prize). The Smell of Apples was shortlisted for the fiction prize of The Guardian and the British John Steinbeck Prize in 1995. His second novel Embrace (2000), was shortlisted for the The Sunday Times award in South Africa as well as the Encore award in the United Kingdom.

Mark Behr was a assistant professor in World Literature and Creative Writing at the College of Santa Fe in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Did you know?

· The Smell of Apples is being filmed with Gillian Anderson (of X-Files fame) and Julian McMahon in the lead roles and is due to be released in 2011
· Mark completed the Comrades marathon (Durban to Pietermaritzburg) in July 2005.
· Mark revealed at a conference of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1996 that he used to be a campus spy and double agent for the SA government as well as the ANC during his studies at the University of Stellenbosch in the late 1980s.
· He was the first South African to be awarded the Betty Trask Prize for first novels in 1995.


CNA Prize (1994) – Die reuk van appels
Eugène Marais Prize (1994) – Die reuk van appels
Betty Trask Prize (1995) – The Smell of Apples
M-Net Prize (1996) – The Smell of Apples
Art Seidenbaum award from the Los Angeles Times (1997) – The Smell of Apples

List of titles


2010 Kings of the Water (Little Brown)
2000 Embrace (Little Brown)
1993 The Smell of Apples (Little Brown)
1994 Die reuk van appels (Tafelberg)


1995 The Smell of Apples
Die reuk van appels was translated into nine languages, including Hebrew, Chinese, German and Portuguese.

Books By This Author