All of my books are rooted in Africa
and the essence of this continent. Whether they are for
very young readers, or for teenagers, they express my
love of the landscape and the places that I care about
and reflect the experiences I have shared with children
here during the forty years since my family emigrated
As a teacher, I was able to move
around South Africa and experience first-hand the
differences between the Western and Eastern Capes, the
mountains of Natal and the beaches of the Wild Coast,
the rural farming regions and the urban inner cities.
After I married and became a full-time writer, I was
privileged to work in Namibia during the transition to
Independence and to be in South Africa prior to and
during the first democratic elections here.
Above all, I was fortunate to be involved in educational
projects that brought me into close contact with the Ju/'hoansi
people of Eastern Bushmanland where I spent many winters
in the company of anthropologists and educationalists
and met the San people in their communities and remote
It is these experiences that inform my
stories for young people. Memories of places and times,
experiences and dreams that I hope sometimes resonate with the
realities of children here … and everywhere.
I believe in the universality of children’s experience.
I believe in the ability of children to comprehend these
similarities and to see the connections that truly exist
between different cultures and different worldviews.
And I believe that
the place to bring these issues to their attention is through
the most powerful medium of all … the written word.
My home, my life, my world is filled with books. If I could wish
one wish for any child, one child anywhere, it would be the
ability to decipher the riches books bring. If I could have one
wish for myself, it would be that I could have the ability to
write books that make those connections.
for a list of my books