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Author Focus

Maretha Maartens
Biographical info

Maretha Maartens was born in Bloemfontein on June 22, 1945. She grew up in Jacobsdal and Petrusburg. She studied at the Universities of the Free State and Stellenbosch, and from 1967 to 1969 she also completed a diploma in nursing. Her husband, Hennie, is a minister of the church and they have lived in East London, Welkom and Bloemfontein.

From 1998 to 2000 Maretha was the editor of the magazine Finesse. She has written more than 90 books which include novels, love stories, children’s books, youth books, teenage books, religious books and spiritual diaries.

Maretha has received the Sanlam Prize for youth literature four times for books such as Die sakmense, Oor die nek van die draak and Oor die nek van die draak. Her controversial novel, ’n Pot vol winter, was awarded the Andrew Murray Award in 1989.

Did you know? 

· In 1988 her youth novel, Die inkvoël, was chosen by the International Youth Library in Munich as a “White Raven Book”. About 400 books are chosen out of about 30 000 children’s and youth titles from all over the world.
· In 1992 ’n Pot vol winter was made into a movie starring Christel Smith and Francois Coertze.
· Maretha’s novel Jacoba Afrikaner was shortlisted in 2001 for the Sanlam/Insig/Kwêla Novel Competition.
· Her daughter, Naomi Meyer, published her debut youth novel, Ruik jy die filmster?, in 2006.

Author bookshelf

Laduma vir die liefde, Mirre/Tafelberg (2011)
Sondag van die silwer see, Mirre/Tafelberg (2010)
Die inkvoël, Tafelberg (1997)


Sanlam Prize for youth literature – gold (1985) – Die sakmense
Credo Award (1986) – Die sakmense
Sanlam Prize for youth literature – silver (1988) – Oor die nek van die draak
Volkskas Prize for youth literature (1989) – Op Filippa se planeet
Andrew Murray Award (1989) – ’n Pot vol winter
Sanlam Prize for youth literature – gold (1990) – Plek van dolfyne
Sanlam Prize for youth literature – bronze (1992) – Spinnekopsomer
Katholische Kinderbuchpreis der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz (1993) – Tintelvogel
ATKV Prize (1994) – Smaartie is skeel

List of titles

1991 Verste grens (roman)
1997 Ruitevrou (roman)
1998 Marike (biografie)
2002 Jacoba Afrikaner (roman)
2010 Sondag van die silwer see (liefdesverhaal)
2011 Laduma vir die liefde (liefdesverhaal)

Young adults
1984 Moedhou, Maria, dis donkermaan
1989 ’n Pot vol winter
1991 In die hemel eet ons mieliepap
1991 Keerpunt

Youth novels (12-15 years)
1985 Gezina en die bruin wind
1985 Rowe val af
1988 Oor die nek van die draak
1989 Op Filippa se planeet
1992 Geagte mej. Snob
1992 Spinnekopsomer

Children’s books (9-13 years)
1984 Die bomelaars
1984 Grys kat, grys kat, jy laat vir Anja hoes
1984 ’n Pakkie mieliepitte
1984 Swart Griet is vas
1985 Die sakmense
1987 Die inkvoël
1988 Goue fluit, my storie is uit
1988 Is Gideon dan ’n swartskap?
1989 Zek en die skoenlappers van die nag
1990 Plek van dolfyne
1993 Smaartie is skeel

Young children (5-8 years)
1982 My dik boek
1983 Ons mooiste Kersfees


’n Pakkie mieliepitte (1984)

  • English (Sidwell’s seeds, 1984), German (Sidwell und der Müllhaldenmann)

Gezina en die bruin wind (1985)

  • English (Ring around the moon)

Die inkvoël (1987)

  • English (The Ink Bird and in America as The Paper Bird), German (Tintenvogel), Dutch (De Inktvogel)

Geagte mej. Snob (1992)

  • English (Dear Miss Snob)

Books By This Author