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Where the heart is: A writer in provence
Where the heart is: A writer in provence

Marita van der Vyver

Marita van der Vyver - click to enlarge
Photo by Inge Prins, SARIE



The Incredible Adventures of
Hanna Hoekom

Author of fiction for children, juveniles and adults.

Marita van der Vyver was born on 6 May 1958 in Cape Town.
She attended primary school in Bellville, and high school in Pretoria and Nelspruit.
In 1975, in a national Afrikaans poetry competition for matric pupils, she won a study bursary for four years at the university of her choice. She chose Stellenbosch, where she participated in D.J. Opperman's poetry workshops and was awarded a BA degree, majoring in Afrikaans and French, in 1978. The following year she acquired an honours degree (cum laude) in journalism, and in 1987, a masters degree in journalism, also at Stellenbosch.
In 1980 she spent a year travelling in Europe, working as an au pair in France and doing various menial jobs in London, such as waitressing in a Greek restaurant and pushing a tea-trolley in a big company. Back in South Africa she worked as reporter for Die Burger, copy writer for the book club Leserskring, and feature writer for the magazine Sarie. In 1987 she became a free-lance journalist/translator/proof-reader with the aim of finding more time to write fiction.
Her first youth novel, Van jou Jas (1982), won a beginners prize in a competition organized by Tafelberg and Sarie. Her next two novels, Tien vir 'n vriend (1987) and Eenkantkind (1991), were both finalists for the Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature, and Eenkantkind won the ATKV Prize for Youth Literature.
In 1992, her first adult novel, Griet skryf 'n sprokie, was a literary sensation and a bestseller, winning the ATKV Prize, the Eugène Marais Prize of the Academy for Science and Arts, and the M-Net Prize. It has been translated into about a dozen languages, i.a. English, Dutch, German, French, Italian, Spanish and Swedish. It was also the first Afrikaans book ever to be translated into Chinese. In 1997 the novel was adapted as a play by the Transvaal Performing Arts Council and run successfully in Pretoria and at the Klein Karoo Arts Festival in Oudtshoorn.
Her next novel, Die dinge van 'n kind (1994), has been described as a pioneering work shifting borders between adult and youth fiction. It has been translated into English, German and Dutch, and also performed as a play at the Klein Karoo Arts Festival in 1998.
In 1997 her first book for young children, Olinosters op die dak/ Rhinocephants on the Roof, was awarded the Tienie Holloway Medal for outstanding children's literature by the Academy for Science and Arts. During this year she was also awarded an International Bursary by the Foundation for Creative Arts, enabling her to accept an invitation to participate in the International Writing Program of the University of Iowa in the USA.
Her novel Wegkomkans (1999) was largely written during a sabbatical year (1996/97) in the south of France. It has also been translated into English.
Since 1999 she lived in France with her French husband, Alain, their daughter, Mia, born in 1999, her son, Daniel, born in 1992, and Alain's two sons, Thomas and Hugo. In 2001 she published Griet kom weer, which has been translated into English (Travelling Light), Dutch and German. Her youth novel, Die ongelooflike avonture van Hanna Hoekom, won the Sanlam Prize for Youth Fiction in 2002, was the only South African book on Exclusive Books' shortlist for the One Club Prize in 2003, and was chosen by IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) as Afrikaans Honour Book for 2004.
Her novel, Vergenoeg, has been bought by Dutch and German publishers even before publication in 2003. In 2004 she published a collection of humorous essays on life in the French countryside, Die hart van ons huis, and in 2005 her first volume of short stories, Bestemmings, together with its English translation, Short Circuits. In the same year she also produced another book for young children, Mia se ma/Mia's Mom, illustrated by Piet Grobler.

2010 is a very busy year for Marita: Her 7th novel, Dis koue kos, is coming out together with the English translation, Just Dessert, Dear in May. She is working on a cook book, Somerkos in Provence and on her personal collection of Sprokies van Grimm, illustrated by Piet Grobler. Her youth novel, Die ongelooflike avonture van Hanna Hoekom, has been turned into a film. KKNK is staging her novel, Vergenoeg as a play.

Hobbies: Walking, reading, cinema, eating and drinking with friends
"Reading is a lifelong passion, an everyday adventure, a quiet addiction and a source of neverending joy."

Awards

1982: Beginners prize in Tafelberg and Sarie competition: Van jou Jas
1992: ATKV Prize for Youth Literature: Eenkantkind
1993: Three awards for Griet skryf 'n sprokie: ATKV Prize, M-Net Book Prize and Eugène Marais Prize
1997: Tienie Holloway Medal for children's books: Olinosters op die dak
1997: Awarded an International Bursary by the Foundation for Creative Arts, and invited to take part in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, USA
2002:Die ongelooflike avonture van Hanna Hoekom won the Sanlam Prize for Youth Fiction
2004: Die ongelooflike avonture van Hanna Hoekom was chosen by IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) as Afrikaans Honour Book
2004: Rapport/City Press Prestige Award, as one of South Africa's most inspiring female achievers
2006: M-Net award for short fiction, Bestemmings and
MER Prize for Mia se ma/Mia's mom, together with illustrator Piet Grobler.
2007: ATKV Prize for Prose: Stiltetyd
Die blou van onthou (Forget-Me-Not Blues) won a Huisgenoot Tempo award as Afrikaans book of the year and has been shortlisted for the M-Net Awards.

Books:
Some of her books have been translated into many languages.
Die Mooiste Sprokies Van Grimm
Die Mooiste Sprokies Van Grimm
(illustrated by Piet Grobler)
Die ongelooflike avonture van Hanna Hoekom
Die ongelooflike avonture van Hanna Hoekom

The hidden life of Hanna Why
Die Dinge Van 'n Kind
Die Dinge Van 'n Kind
Franse briewe: Pos uit Provence
Pos uit Provence
Wegkomkans
There is a season
There is a season

Bestemmings

Short circuits
Short circuits
Stiltetyd
Stiltetyd
Time out
Time out
Die hart van ons huis
Die hart van ons huis

Where the heart is: A writer in provence
Griet skryf 'n sprokie
Griet skryf 'n sprokie
Griet kom weer
Griet kom weer
Vergenoeg
Vergenoeg
Tien Vir 'n Vriend
Tien Vir 'n Vriend
Mia's mom
Mia's mom

Mia se Ma
Dis Koue Kos, Skat
Dis Koue Kos, Skat

Children and juveniles:
Van jou Jas, Tafelberg, 1982
Tien vir 'n vriend, Tafelberg, 1987
Eenkantkind, Tafelberg, 1991
Olinosters op die dak/Rhinocephants on the Roof, Human & Rousseau, 1997
Die ongelooflike avonture van Hanna Hoekom, Tafelberg, 2002
Rimpelstories: Die simpel dinge wat mense mis, Kagiso Education, 2004
Rimpelstories: Boomklim, Kagiso Education, 2004
Mia se ma/Mia's Mom, illustrated by Piet Grobler, 2005
The hidden life of Hanna Why (Co-author: Marlene Hammann), Tafelberg Publishers, 2007

Adults:
Griet skryf 'n sprokie, Tafelberg, 1992
Dinge van 'n kind , Tafelberg, 1994
Wegkomkans, Tafelberg, 1999
Griet kom weer, Tafelberg, 2001
Vergenoeg, Tafelberg, 2003
Die hart van ons huis, Tafelberg 2004
Where the heart is, Double Storey, 2006
Buy BestemmingsBestemmings, Tafelberg, 2005
Short Circuits, 2005
Stiltetyd
Time Out, Tafelberg, 2006
Franse briewe: Pos uit Provence, Tafelberg, 2008
Dis Koue Kos, Skat, Tafelberg 2010
Die Blou Van Onthou, Tafelberg, 2012
'n Fontein voor ons deur, Tafelberg, 2013

Translation: Die Volledige Sprokies Van Grimm, Protea, 2009
Die Mooiste Sprokies Van Grimm (illustrated by Piet Grobler), Human & Rousseau, 2010

up

See also: ATKV Afrikaans CV

Marita van der Vyver
Photo by Adriaan Oosthuizen

Marita van der Vyver is 'n gebore Kapenaar. Sy was op laerskool in Bellville en Welgemoed, en op hoërskool in Menlopark en Nelspruit. Haar matriekjaar, 1975, was ook die Afrikaanse Eeufeesjaar. In 'n landwye kompetisie vir matriekleerlinge het sy met haar vroeg ontwikkelde woordgevoeligheid 'n studiebeurs vir vier jaar losgedig. Sy is na Stellenbosch, waar sy in 1978 'n B.A. verwerf het. In 1979 het sy honneurs in joernalistiek verwerf, en 'n paar jaar later, as deeltydse student, 'n meestersgraad in joernalistiek met 'n tesis oor die vrou in die Afrikaanse pers.
Ná universiteit het sy 'n jaar oorsee gewerk, onder andere as au pair in die suide van Frankryk en as skottelgoedwasser in Londen. "Reis doen baie meer vir my siel as ingevoerde rome vir my gesig," het sy in 'n onderhoud gesê. Met haar terugkeer het sy as verslaggewer by Die Burger gewerk, as kopieskrywer by Leserskring, en daarna as artikelskrywer by Sarie. In 1987 het sy vryskut begin werk om meer tyd vir skryf te hê.
Haar jeugverhaal Van Jou Jas (1982) is bekroon met 'n beginnersprys in 'n wedstryd van Tafelberg en Sarie. Haar volgende twee jeugboeke, Tien vir 'n vriend (1987) en Eenkantkind (1991) was albei Sanlam-finaliste, en laasgenoemde is bekroon met die ATKV-prys vir Jeuglektuur.
Haar eerste roman vir volwassenes, Griet skryf 'n sprokie, het in 1992 verskyn en was 'n blitsverkoper. Marita was 'n sensasie - sy was op die radio, die TV en in haas elke publikasie, van Die Kerkbode tot Scope. Die roman is bekroon met die ATKV-prys, die M-Net-boekprys en die Eugène Marais-prys. Dit is wêreldwyd vertaal, o.m. in Engels, Nederlands, Duits, Frans, Italiaans, Spaans, Sweeds, Tsjeggies, en selfs in Chinees en Hebreeus. In 1997 is dit as toneelstuk tydens die Klein Karoo Kunstefees opgevoer, en daar is sprake van 'n rolprent.
Marita se volgende roman, Dinge van 'n kind (1994), was 'n inisiasieroman oor tieners se grootword in die jare sewentig; 'n boek oor die begin van vrouwees en die verlies van onskuld op seksuele, politieke en morele vlak. Traumatiese gebeure soos die grensdood van 'n vriend, selfmoord, dwelms en 'n tienerswangerskap vorm deel van die intrige. Dit was 'n baanbrekerboek wat die grens tussen jeugboek en volwasse fiksie verskuif het.
In 1997 is haar eerste boek vir jong kinders, Olinosters op die dak (Human & Rousseau), met die Tienie Holloway-medalje vir kinderlektuur bekroon. In dié jaar het sy ook die Internasionale Beurs van die Stigting vir Skeppende Kunste gewen, wat haar in staat gestel het om aan die International Writing Program van die Universiteit van Iowa in die VSA deel te neem.
"Wegkomkans" word in 1999 gepubliseer en 'n jaar later deur Penguin uitgegee as "Breathing Space". "Griet kom weer" (2001) is reeds vertaal in Engels ("Travelling Light"), Hollands en Duits. Haar jongste jeugboek, "Die ongelooflike avonture van Hanna Hoekom", wen in 2002 die Sanlamprys vir Jeugfiksie en word aangewys as IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) se Afrikaans Honour Book vir 2004. Verdere Pryse in 2004: Rapport/City Press se Prestige-toekenning as een van Suid-Afrika se mees inspirerende vroue-presteerders.
Ontvang 'n toekenning van IBBY vir 'Die ongelooflike avonture van Hanna Hoekom', wat in IBBY se internasionale erelys verskynHaar volwasse roman, "Vergenoeg", is reeds voor publikasie in 2003 deur 'n Duitse uitgewer aangekoop.

Haar jongste volwasse roman: Die hart van ons huis, Tafelberg, August 2004
Sedert 1999 woon Marita saam met haar Franse man en vier kinders op die Franse platteland.


Text by Marita van der Vyver, 2002/03/05   Last update 13.8.2010

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