Posthumous Literary Award

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Chris van Wyk was born in Baragwanath Hospital, Soweto, on 19 July1957, lived and educated at Riverlea High School. He lived in Riverlea for many years before moving to Northcliff, Johannesburg, where he worked as a full-time writer. He wrote poetry (his poems have been published in Denmark, Sweden, France, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Canada), books for children and teenagers, short stories and novels.

Publications include: Maria (1966); It is Time To Go Home (1979); A Message in the Wind (1982); Petroleum and the Orphaned Ostrich (1988); The Year of the Tapeworm (novel,1996); Freedom Fighters (2003 first series of biographies for children and young teens, which included profiles of Nelson Mandela, Helen Joseph, Desmond Tutu, Thabo Mbeki and Steve Biko); Now Listen Here: The Life and Times of Bill Jardine(2003); Shirley, Goodness & Mercy: A Childhood Memoir (2004), a South African bestseller that was reprinted several times, including a special edition that formed part of the Picador 40th series released in 2012; Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom (2009, abridged to create a picture book (illustrated by Paddy Bouma) for young children);Eggs to Lay, Chickens to Hatch: A Memoir (2010).

Among his awards are: 1980: Olive Schreiner Prize for his collection of poems, It Is Time to Go Home, and 1997: Sanlam Prize for the best South African short story, for a story entitled ‘Magic’. 2005: Shortlisted for Sunday Times Alan Paton Award for Shirley, Goodness & Mercy: A Childhood Memoir, 2008: South African Literary Awards’ Literary Translators Award for translating AHM Scholtz’s A Place Called Vatmaar from English to Afrikaans Chris van Wyk died of cancer at 57 in 2014.