Author: Leon Roussow

Publication: BODY OF WORK



Leon Gerdener Rousseau was born in Cape Town on 5 March 1931. He completed a degree at the University of Cape Town, after which he started working at the Afrikaans newspaper Die Burger.

A few years later he started Uniale Persdiens, a translation bureau and press agency. In 1959 Rousseau and Koos Human started a new publishing house: Human & Rousseau. It would eventually be responsible for publishing quite a few important works, including that of the “sestigers”.

After Human & Rousseau was sold to Nasionale Pers in 1977, Rousseau retired and started a small publishing house called Ibis.

Leon Rousseau’s most famous work is Die groot verlange, a biography of Eugène Marais, which was published in 1974 and awarded the CNA Prize in 1975. Rousseau is also well-known for his Fritz Deelman series of youth novels. He was a mere 25 years old when he wrote the first book in this series in 1956. The series was a huge success and was re-published in 1974 and again in 2004.

Another of Rousseau’s non-fiction books, Die groot avontuur – wondere van die lewe op aarde, was published in 2006. It was awarded the Recht Malan Prize for non-fiction in 2007.