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Author Focus

Leon Rousseau
Biographical info

Leon Gerdener Rousseau was born in Cape Town on 5 March 1931. He completed a degree at the University of Cape Town, after which he started working at the Afrikaans newspaper Die Burger.

A few years later he started Uniale Persdiens, a translation bureau and press agency. In 1959 Rousseau and Koos Human started a new publishing house: Human & Rousseau. It would eventually be responsible for publishing quite a few important works, including that of the “sestigers”.

After Human & Rousseau was sold to Nasionale Pers in 1977, Rousseau retired and started a small publishing house called Ibis.

Leon Rousseau’s most famous work is Die groot verlange, a biography of Eugène Marais, which was published in 1974 and awarded the CNA Prize in 1975. Rousseau is also well-known for his Fritz Deelman series of youth novels. He was a mere 25 years old when he wrote the first book in this series in 1956. The series was a huge success and was re-published in 1974 and again in 2004.

Another of Rousseau’s non-fiction books, Die groot avontuur – wondere van die lewe op aarde, was published in 2006. It was awarded the Recht Malan Prize for non-fiction in 2007. 

Did you know?
 
·
The very first Fritz Deelman stories were published as a serial in Die Jongspan. The book series eventually consisted of 8 books, all published between 1956 and 1963.
·
In the first edition of Die groot verlange, published in 1974, 10 000 copies were printed, but sold out so quickly that a second edition soon followed. At the time, the book of 514 pages sold for R9.50.
·
In 1984 he published an Afrikaans translation of the British Story Teller-series under the title Storieman. It consisted of 30 books and 30 cassette tapes.
   

Books still in print

Storieman Omnibus 1 & 2 (compiler, re-issued 2012)
Fritz Deelman en die Gori Lama (2005)
Fritz Deelman en die Groen Dood (2005)
Fritz Deelman en die Suidpoolbende (2005)
Fritz Deelman en die Diepsee Duikbol (2004)
Fritz Deelman en die Swart Eiland (2004)
Fritz Deelman en die Woestynrowers (2004)

Awards

CNA-prys (1975) – Die groot verlange
Recht Malan-prys vir niefiksie (2007) – Die Groot Avontuur

List of publications

Youth books
1956 Die groot avontuur – wondere van die lewe op aarde, Nasionale Boekhandel
1957 Fritz Deelman en die Suidpoolbende, Nasionale Boekhanel
1957 Fritz Deelman en die Skepe van Mars, Nasionale Boekhandel
1958 Fritz Deelman en die Groen Dood, Nasionale Boekhandel
1958 Marco Polo van Venesië, Nasionale Boekhandel
1959 Die Florentyn, Nasionale Boekhandel
1958 Fritz Deelman en die Diepsee Duikbol, Nasionale Boekhandel
1959 Fritz Deelman en die Gori Lama, Nasionale Boekhandel
1960 Fritz Deelman en die Woestynrowers, Tafelberg
1963 Fritz Deelman en die Ondersese Myn, Tafelberg

Nonfiction
1974 Die groot verlange: die verhaal van Eugène N. Marais, Human & Rousseau
2006 Die groot avontuur – wondere van die lewe op aarde, Human & Rousseau

Children's books
1967 Die Groot Oerwoudboek (redakteur), Human & Rousseau
1971 Ou Tante Koba: Sewe-en-twintig rympies oor ’n bekende volkskarakter, Human & Rousseau
1971 Professor Oer en sy diere, Human & Rousseau
1972 Die bruilof van die voëls, Human & Rousseau
1972 Die Kaapse vlek: ’n rympie oor die Ou-Kaap, Human & Rousseau
1974 Die Diere-ABC, Human & Rousseau
1974 Rympies vir kleuters (samesteller), Human & Rousseau
1976 Rympies vir kinders (samesteller), Human & Rousseau
1976 Herelandgoed, Human & Rousseau

Translations

   

Die groot avontuur – wondere van die lewe op aarde

  • Nederlands (Frits Deelman en de Zwarte Atoomduikboot, 1968)

Fritz Deelman en die Suidpoolbende

  • Nederlands (Frits Deelman en de Verborgen Zuidpoolbasis, 1962)

Fritz Deelman en die Groen Dood

  • Nederlands (Frits Deelman en de Groene Hel)

Fritz Deelman en die Diepsee Duikbol

  • Nederlands (Frits Deelman en de Diepzeeduikers, 1962)

Fritz Deelman en die Skepe van Mars

  • Nederlands (Frits Deelman en de Ruimteschepen van Mars, 1960)
   
 

Books By This Author