NB Publishers

Sign up for our newsletter!

Author Focus

Marita van der Vyver
Biographical info

Marita van der Vyver  was born in Cape Town on May 6, 1958. While in matric at Nelspruit High School in 1975 (which was also the Centenary Year for the Afrikaans language), she won a countrywide poetry competition and awarded a study bursary of four years.

In 1978 she completed a BA Degree with languages and drama, and in 1979 an honours degree in journalism, both at the University of Stellenbosch. She completed a Master’s degree in journalism several years later.

She initially worked as a journalist at the newspaper Die Burger and the magazine Sarie, until she decided in 1987 to become a freelance journalist.

Her debut was in 1982 with a children’s book, Van jou jas. But it was her first adult novel in 1992, the highly controversial Griet skryf ’n sprokie, which quickly became a bestseller and was reprinted several times. Griet skryf ’n sprokie was awarded the M-Net, ATKV and Eugène Marais Prizes.

For her children’s and youth books she has been awarded, among others, the Tienie Holloway Medal, the MER Prize and the Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature.

Her novel Wegkomkans was mostly written during her sabbatical year (1996/97) in the south of France. Since 1999, Marita has been living in the French countryside with her French husband, Alain, and four children.

Did you know?

· Griet skryf ’n sprokie was the first Afrikaans novel to be translated into Mandarin. More recently, it has also been published in Icelandic. Furthermore, there is also a Braille version. It also spent a whole year on CNA’s Top 10 List of bestsellers.
· In 1997 she won an international study bursary from the Stigting vir die Skeppende Kunste. This enabled her to travel to Iowa City in the USA where she was able to participate in the International Writing Programme at a local university’s School of Letters.
· In 2004 her youth book Die ongelooflike avonture van Hanna Hoekom was appointed as the Afrikaans Honours Book of the IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People).
· Griet skryf ’n sprokie was adapted as a stage play and performed in 1997 at the Klein Karoo Nasionale Kunstefees (Arts Festival).
· In 2005 Marita made her debut as an actress when she appeared in an episode of the Afrikaans soapie 7de Laan.

Author bookshelf

Dis koue kos, skat (filmuitgawe), Tafelberg (2016)
Swemlesse vir 'n meermin, Tafelberg (2015)
Olinosters op die dak, Tafelberg (2015)
Winterkos in Provence, Tafelberg (2014)
'n Fontein voor ons deur
, Tafelberg (2013)
Die blou van onthou
, Tafelberg (2012)
Forget-me-not-Blues, Tafelberg (2012)
Somerkos in Provence, Tafelberg (2010)
Summer Food in Provence, Tafelberg (2010)
Die mooiste sprokies van Grimm, Human & Rousseau (2010)
Dis koue kos, skat, Tafelberg (2010)
Just Dessert, Dear, Tafelberg (2010)
Franse briewe: Pos uit die Provence, Tafelberg (2008)
The Hidden Life of Hanna Hoekom, Tafelberg (2007)
Stiltetyd, Tafelberg (2006)
Time Out, Tafelberg (2006)
Bestemmings, Tafelberg (2005)
Short Circuits, Tafelberg (2005)
Mia se ma, Human & Rousseau (2005)
Mia’s Mom, Human & Rousseau (2005)
Die hart van ons huis, Tafelberg (2004)
Vergenoeg, Tafelberg (2003)
Die ongelooflike avonture van Hanna Hoekom, Tafelberg (2002)
Die dinge van 'n kind, Tafelberg (2000)
Tien vir ’n vriend, Tafelberg (2000)
Griet kom weer, Tafelberg (1999)
Griet skryf ’n sprokie, Tafelberg (1993, 1996)
Eenkantkind, Tafelberg (1997)



Beginners Prize in Tafelberg and Sarie competition (1982) – Van jou jas
ATKV Prize for youth literature 13-15 jaar (1992) – Eenkantkind
ATKV Prize for prose (1993) – Griet skryf ’n sprokie
M-Net Prize (1993) – Griet skryf ’n sprokie
Eugène Marais Prize (1993) – Griet skryf ’n sprokie
Tienie Holloway Medal for children’s books (1997) – Olinosters op die dak
Sanlam Prize for youth literature (2002) – Die ongelooflike avonture van Hanna Hoekom
IBBY’s Afrikaans Honour Book (2004) – Die ongelooflike avonture van Hanna Hoekom
M-Net Award for Afrikaans short fiction (2006) – Bestemmings
MER Prize for children literature (2006) – Mia se ma
ATKV Prize for prose (2007) – Stiltetyd

List of titles

1992 Griet skryf ’n sprokie
1994 Die dinge van 'n kind
1999 Wegkomkans
2001 Griet kom weer
2003 Vergenoeg
2004 Die hart van ons huis
2005 Bestemmings /Short Circuits
2006 Stiltetyd /Time Out
2008 Franse briewe: Pos uit Provence
2010 Dis koue kos, skat
2010 Just Dessert, Dear
2012 Die blou van onthou
2012 Forget-me-not-Blues
2013 'n Fontein voor ons deur

Children and youth books
1982 Van jou jas
1987 Tien vir ’n vriend
1991 Eenkantkind
1996 Olinosters op die dak / Rhinocephants on the Roof
2002 Die ongelooflike avonture van Hanna Hoekom
2004 Boomklim
2004 Die simpel dinge wat mense mis
2005 Hy bly my broer
2005 Mia se ma / Mia’s Mom, illustrated by Piet Grobler
2007 The Hidden Life of Hanna Why
2010 Die mooiste sprokies van Grimm


Griet skryf ’n sprokie (1992)
English (Entertaining Angels), Dutch, German, Italian, Mandarin, Spanish, French, Hebrew, Czech, Swedish, Icelandic

Die dinge van ’n kind (1994)
English (Childish Things, 1996), Dutch, German

Wegkomkans (1999)
English (Breathing Space, 2000)

Griet kom weer (2001)
English (Travelling Light, 2005), Dutch

Die ongelooflike avonture van Hanna Hoekom (2002)
English (The Hidden Life of Hanna Why)

Vergenoeg (2003)
English (There is a season, 2007), German, Dutch

Die hart van ons huis (2004)
English (Where the heart is, 2006), Dutch (Het hart van ons huis)

Dis koue kos, skat (2010)
English (Just Dessert, Dear, 2010)

Die blou van onthou (2012)
Forget-me-not-Blues (2012)


“It's hard to resist a novel with a heroine who is as good company as Griet is.” Jacqueline Carey on Entertaining Angels, The New York Times (1995)

Short Circuits is the first of Van der Vyver's books to appear simultaneously in English, alongside an original Afrikaans version. That's cause for celebration in itself. This collection is certainly enjoyable.” - Arja Salafranca, Tonight (2005)

“I found Time Out one of the best books I have read this year. Much of it was heartbreaking to read, but I cannot recommend highly enough that you get hold of a copy of it quickly.” – Jennifer Crocker, Tonight (2006)

Photo: Lien Botha

  • View Website
  • View Blog
  • View YouTube Page

Books By This Author