Marlene Van Niekerk, who was born in 1954, is an award-winning poet, novelist and short story writer. She was awarded South Africa’s high honour, the Order of Ikhamanga, in 2011 for her outstanding intellectual contribution to literary arts and culture through poetry, literature and philosophical works. She is Professor of Afrikaans and Dutch literature and Creative Writing at Stellenbosch University and held the Unesco Africa Chair in Utrecht in 2007/8.
The film adaptation of her debut novel Triomf, directed by Michael Raeburn, won the Best South African Film Award at the Durban International Film Festival, 2008.
Agaat, published in the UK as The Way of the Women, is translated by Michiel Heyns, who won the Sol Plaatje Award for translation for this work. This extraordinary novel topped the Swedish bestseller list for five weeks in 2012, and has received many accolades in its Afrikaans and English editions including the South African Sunday Times Literary Prize and the Hertzog Prize (both 2007) and a shortlisting for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2008.