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Author Focus

Eben Venter
Biographical info

Eben Venter was raised on a sheep farm in Eastern Cape, South Africa. He read philosophy at university and migrated to Australia in 1986 when a State of Emergency was declared.

Venter has published nine works of fiction (six novels, two short story collections and a column & recipe book.) His last novel, Santa Gamka (2009), was awarded three South African literary awards: the W.A. Hofmeyr prize (for the fourth time), the M-Net and the ATKV prize.

His work has been translated in English, Dutch and German. His last English novel, Trencherman, was long listed for the Sunday Times (South Africa) prize, 2009.

He was writer-in-residence at Rhodes University, South Africa in 2012.

An alumni achiever award was bestowed on him by the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in November 2011.

A highlight of his career was his 2006 writer-in-residency at NIAS, the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, one of Europe's most prestigious postgraduate institutions, and lectures by invitation at the Free University of Amsterdam and the University of Kyoto, Japan.

Books still in print

Wolf, Wolf  (Afrikaans edition) & Wolf, Wolf (English translation by Michiel Heyns), Tafelberg (2013)
Brouhaha, Tafelberg (2010)
Santa Gamka, Tafelberg (2009)
, Tafelberg (2008)
My Beautiful Death, Tafelberg (2006) 
Ek stamel, ek sterwe (2005)
Begeerte, Tafelberg (2003)


WA Hofmeyr Prize (1994) – Foxtrot van die vleiseters
WA Hofmeyr Prize (1996) – Ek stamel, ek sterwe
WA Hofmeyr Prize (2004) – Begeerte
WA Hofmeyr Prize (2010) – Santa Gamka
M-Net Prize for Prose (2010) – Santa Gamka

List of titles

1986 Witblitz, Taurus
1993 Foxtrot van die vleiseters, Tafelberg
1996 Ek stamel, ek sterwe, Queillerie
1999 My simpatie, Cerise, Queillerie
2000 Twaalf, Queillerie
2003 Begeerte, Tafelberg
2006 Horrelpoot, Tafelberg
2009 Santa Gamka, Tafelberg
2013 Wolf, Wolf  (Afrikaans) & Wolf, Wolf (English) Tafelberg (2013)


Foxtrot van die vleiseters (1994): German (Burenfoxtrott, 1996), Dutch (Dans aan het einde van de dag, 2002)
Ek stamel, ek sterwe (1996): Dutch (Ik stamel ik sterf, 1998), English (My Beautiful Death, 2006)
Horrelpoot (2006): English (Trencherman, 2008)
Wolf, Wolf (2013): English Wolf, Wolf ((2013. Translation by Michiel Heyns.)


“Every now and then a novel rises out of the slew of new fiction titles and makes an extraordinary claim on one’s attention – such as Eben Venter’s Trencherman.” – Leon de Kock, The Times (2008)

Trencherman struck me as a remarkable literary achievement…” – David Pike, The Witness (2008)

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