Author Marita van der Vyver on her new book and writing about war
Acclaimed South African author Marita van der Vyver might write mainly in Afrikaans, but her work has reached an international audience through translations into English and a number of other languages.
The writer has made her home in France and she's in Cape Town for the launch of her new novel Grensgeval, translated into English as Borderline.
Joining Pippa Hudson for Wednesday's On the Yellow Couch, she says she's been wanting to write about apartheid South Africa's border war for many years.
She expands on her personal connection to the story as someone who was a teenager during the seventies, just like her female protagonist.
My classmates and brothers and cousins and friends were the young teenage boys who were caught up as conscripts.Marita van der Vyver, Author
War stories are mostly told by men and van der Vyver says it was a challenge to approach the subject from the perspective of the women left behind.
I always like a challenge with every book - in Afrikaans we even have a genre called 'grens literatuur', border literature, the guys who've been there telling their stories.Marita van der Vyver, Author
It's interesting to write from a woman's perspective because we weren't there, but we have to deal with the damage that's done not just in the border war, but wars in general.Marita van der Vyver, Author
In the book, says van der Vyver, she also tries her best to imagine being "stuck in the bloody entrails" of war through a male character who keeps a journal.
She hopes Borderline will help the younger generation understand the effects of war on their own parents, sometimes manifesting in problems such as addiction and domestic violence.
Van der Vyver discusses her research for the, book what she calls "the big black hole" war leaves behind in ex-soldiers and the need for us to always have a glimmer of hope.
The Cape Town launch of "Borderline" takes place at the Book Lounge on Wednesday from 5:30 pm.
Listen to the fascinating discussion with the author here:
"It’s time to stop arresting drug users," Deputy Minister of Social Development Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu told the UN this week.Read More
"The court was filled with armed police officers," says Shamiela Fisher. "Kilian wore a hooded top that he never removed once."Read More
At its peak, South Africa ranked 5th in the world. The country ranks 13th by the total number of deaths.Read More
"Zondo’s comments at the end of the hearing; it was just so bleak! A sombre, grim end to a day," says journalist Erin Bates.Read More
Outa's Stefanie Fick urges the speedy investigation of allegations against the suspended COO of the National Lotteries Commission.Read More
"There was resistance," says City Power's Isaac Mangena. "Security told us, 'Why are you here? Politicians stay in this area!'"Read More
The originator of the scheme is the man behind the 'Drive a new car for R699 a month' fiasco years back, warns Wendy Knowler.Read More
The popular site reopens from today (Wednesday) but is operating a strict no mask, no entry policy according to SANParks.Read More
A Corruption Watch report reveals almost 2 000 people blew the whistle on corruption during the first half of 2020.Read More
Rates of gender-based violence and femicide in South Africa are among some of the highest in the world.Read More
Your financial future – even if you have to start over – could be brighter than it would’ve been without the pandemic.Read More
The Covid-19 pandemic's moving us towards a cashless society. Arabile Gumede interviews Ukheshe co-founder, Clayton Hayward.Read More
There’ll be many opportunities for frontier investors in the coming years, says Absa's Somaya Joshua.Read More
We’re lab rats in a social experiment of unapparelled importance. Kieno Kammies interviews Dean McCoubrey of MySociaLife.Read More
Contributions are likely to rise by twice the rate of inflation, warns Clayton Samsodien (Phoenix Financial Services Group).Read More
Level 1 rules helping but also hindering the wedding industry. Get cost-saving tips from Precious Thamaga (Precious the Planner).Read More
Refilwe Moloto chats to iconic satirist Pieter Dirk-Uys is and heritage activist Patrick Tariq Mellett about our complex heritage.Read More
Need a passport? Home Affairs is now operating fully, but it’s inundated. Check this out before trying your luck.Read More
BMW releases an 'ode' to an iconic earlier model. The ad reflects local culture, says Sizakele Marutlulle (Marutlulle and Co).Read More
Pippa Hudson interviews Pam Buchalter, a psychologist and co-founder of Klikd, a platform for parenting in the digital age.Read More