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Morné Malan

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Award-winning Afrikaans author to visit Hartbeespoort

April 2009 – Morné Malan, debut winner of the Sanlam/Insig Groot Roman competition 2007 and founder of creative writing school, HeadSpark, was invited by Jasmyn bookshop in Hartbeespoort to discuss his popular ‘farm-and-city’ novel, Suiderkruis. On Saturday 2 May at 12:00, the author will give a talk in the bookshop after which he will answer questions and sign copies of his book.
‘I cannot wait to visit Hartbeespoort,’ says Malan. ‘I have heard so many wonderful things about this area – not only the pleasant, hospitable atmosphere around the dam, but also the loyal Afrikaans reading community living there. It is always a pleasure for any author to talk to art-loving and well-read people.’
Malan’s book, Suiderkruis – currently on sale at Jasmyn – tells the story of rupture in an Afrikaans family as a result of a traumatic accident on the farm Stilkuil in the Free State. After eleven years of estrangement between the formidable farm matriarch, Magriet Wessels, and her two sons, Dawid and Hennie, Magriet revisits Johannesburg to claim what is due to her: an heir. And the Suiderkruis wind pump on Stilkuil predicted everything …
Jacomien van Niekerk described the book in Beeld of 26 January 2009 as an impressive debut, while Neil Cochrane wrote the following in Die Burger of 22 February 2009: ‘Suiderkruis is a strong and much-welcomed debut with an emotional sharpness that cuts to the bone.’
Malan explains that the novel was a play initially, with himself and actors such as Hannes Muller, Susan Danford and Annelise Bosch in the cast. ‘But too few people watched the show at festivals,’ he says jestingly. ‘This is a story about farm and city life which I have been carrying with me for more than ten years. It is not exactly autobiographical, although I loved visiting my cousins on the farm near Bothaville when I was a child. We city boys always looked like skinny crows among the sturdy youngsters from the Free State. But more about this when I come to visit,’ he says with a wink.