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Ingrid Winterbach PDF Print E-mail

Ingrid Gerda Winterbach was born in Johannesburg on 14 February 1948. She matriculated at Florida High School. In 1969 she completed a BA Degree in Fine Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand, and in 1970 she completed an Honors Degree in Afrikaans and Dutch at the same university. She completed her Masters’ Degree in Afrikaans and Dutch in 1974 at the University of Stellenbosch under the study guidance of D.J. Opperman. In the years following her studies, she was a teacher, a journalist at Die Burger, and for 13 years a lecturer in the Fine Arts Department of the University of Stellenbosch. After that, Ingrid was also a lecturer in Afrikaans and Dutch at the University of Natal. She has been writing and painting full time since 2002.

Her first novel, Klaaglied vir Koos, was published in 1984 under the alias Lettie Viljoen. She published four more books under this name. In 1994 she was awarded both the M-Net and Ou Mutual Prize for her novel Karolina Ferreira. Buller se plan (1999) was the first novel to be published under the name Ingrid Winterbach. In 2004 Ingrid was awarded the Hertzog Prize for prose for Niggie. In 2007 her eighth novel, Die boek van toeval en toeverlaat (Translated: The Book of Happenstance), was awarded the M-Net Prize, WA Hofmeyer Prize and UJ Prize for creative writing.

In 2016 Winterbach was longlisted for the 2016 Sunday Times Barry Ronge Fiction Prize for her novel, It Might Get Loud. In the same year she won the WA Hofmeyr prize for Afrikaans fiction for her novel, Vlakwater. This would be her fourth time winning the prize.


Adapted from:


Extract from The book of Happenstance:


A collection of shells has been stolen from a woman who lives alone.

September has four and a half weeks. In the fourth and last week of the ninth, the first month of spring, the heavens open. There are floods inland. Bridges are washed away along the coast. On television I see a house, a cow, a piano, a pram, borne along from the interior by the seething water masses. As children we experienced something similar on holiday at the South Coast: I clearly recall that the sky was the exact color of the brown mass of water; within hours the bridge we had been standing on had been washed away.

During this time I have a horrifying dream. A severed head is accidentally wrapped up in something resembling plastic or cellophane—the transparent paper that bouquets are often wrapped in. This head is later sawn open to reveal its two inner halves. I try my best to disentangle the web of associations in which the dream could be embedded, but to no avail. I do not believe in premonitions, but the dream and the freak weather make me apprehensive.



Ingrid Winterbach
1999 Buller se plan, Human & Rousseau
2002 Niggie, Human & Rousseau
2006 Die boek van toeval en toeverlaat, Human & Rousseau
2010 Die Benederyk, Human & Rousseau
2010 To Hell With Cronjé, Open Letter

2010. Die Benederyk. Human & Rousseau.

2012. Die aanspraak van lewende wesens. Human & Rousseau

2014. The Road of Excess. Human & Rousseau

2015. Vlakwater. Human & Rousseau.


Lettie Viljoen
1984 Klaaglied vir Koos, Taurus
1986 Erf, Taurus
1990 Belemmering, Taurus
1993 Karolina Ferreira, Human & Rousseau
1996 Landskap met vroue en slang, Human & Rousseau