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Author Focus

Dalene Matthee
Biographical info

Dalene Matthee (née Scott) was born at Riversdale in 1938. She matriculated there in 1957 and studied music at van Zyl music school in Oudtshoorn and at the Holy Cross Convent at Graaff-Reinet.

Prior to the runaway success of her first forest novel, Dalene wrote stories for magazines and published two popular novels: 'n Huis vir Nadia (1982) and Petronella van Aarde, burgemeester (1983). Her very first book was a children's story, Die twaalfuurstokkie (1970) and in 1982 she also published a collection of short stories, Die Judasbok.

Kringe in 'n Bos (1984), her novel about the extermination of elephants and the exploitation of woodcutters in the forests of Knysna, was an international success. Three more forest books followed: Fiela se kind (1985), Moerbeibos (1987) and Toorbos (2003). Fiela se kind was made into a movie under the direction of Katinka Heyns. Brug van die esels was published in 1993 and Susters van Eva in 1995. Her novel, Pieternella van die Kaap, was published in March 2000.

Her books have been translated into some fourteen languages, among them French, German, Spanish, Italian, Hebrew and Icelandic. She has four times garnered the ATKV prize for good popular prose and in 1993 she received a Swiss literary prize in Zurich for her "vigorous literary work and her passionate interest in nature conservation".

Dalene Matthee died on Sunday, 20 February 2005 in Mossel Bay at the age of 66.



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