Marita van Aswegen
Who is Marita van Aswegen
Marita van Aswegen is a South African author. She writes mostly in Afrikaans. She has written numerous books, poems, short stories and novels for children, teenagers and adults. Most of her books and stories have been published by renowned South African publishers and many of her stories have also been translated to English and Sesotho.
She mostly enjoys to write stories for children. As a writer, she understands the impact of stories on children’s lives, therefore she writes with great responsibility. Marita prefers to write about what she sees and experience and mix it with magic. Her stories are mostly influenced by the rural community and her experience as a social worker. Children’s courage and ability to rise above their misfortunes is what inspires her.
As a writer, she delights in being able to share her stories, which is a mixture of reality and fantasy. She shares it with readers in South Africa and around the world. She loves it when readers enjoy her stories, think about it and regrets it when the story ends.
Marita van Aswegen Background
Marita van Aswegen was born on May 19th, 1949 in the vicinity of Nylstroom South Africa and grew up in a rural area. She was schooled in Fouriesburg, Hobhouse and matriculated at Hoërskool Clocolan.
After matric, she achieved the B.Soc.Sc grade from the University of the Free State and did social work for 4 years. In 1973 she married a farmer and spent most of her live on a farm outside Bloemfontein. Furthermore in 1981, she achieved a BA-grade in Afrikaans/Netherlands and communication science through Unisa.
As long as she could remember, she wanted to write a book. As a teenage girl, with a mind filled with roses, moonshine and love, she wrote her first story. It was a love story and she sent it to “Sarie”, which was a favourite magazine during the sixties. However, they rejected her story, but it didn’t stop her from writing more stories…
During the years, while her children were growing up, she wrote essays and poems. It was humoristic essays on topics like “Going to the hairdresser”, “We have electricity”, “The day I forgot a cheque on the car ‘s roof”, etc. She also wrote poems for small children, especially from her own children’s perspective and experiences, as well as poems where she expressed her personal feelings. Two of the poems for children were published thirty years later in “Die nuwe verseboek” by Riana Scheepers.
In 1997, Marita van Aswegen published her first book. She sent the story to several publishers and was rejected six times. But she did not give up. The book was in Afrikaans. After they accepted the book, Kwêla Publishers also translated it in English and Sesotho. The book is about a young postman who has to deliver a letter to an old man. He was waiting for a letter from his grandchild. The old man was attacked by a robber and the postman saved his life.
Inspiration for her writing
Marita writes because she enjoys it. She likes to write about what she sees and experience and mix it with magic.
Her fascination with people, especially children, serves as motivation. On the farm she was in close contact with Sesotho speaking children. As a social worker, she worked with children who grew up in difficult circumstances. Here she saw another world where children were poor and abused. Despite the situation, these children had unique characteristics and excelled above their circumstances.
Her time on the farm and as social worker had a marked influence on her writing. She believes in people’s ability to stand up in life and rise above their circumstances. Therefore her stories is deeply focussed on reality and are often written from the rural, impoverished perspective.
She dreams about something or sees something that touches her, then she starts to form the story in her head and writes it down. Sometimes while she writes, the whole story changes.
She enjoys it most to see words that were once just thoughts in her head and then get feedback from readers and how they enjoyed it.
Marita reads murder stories, detective stories, teenage and children stories, spiritual books, The Bible, poems, adventure stories and short stories.
- I am pilgrim
- Onse Vaders
- A man called Ove
- Roald Dahl
- WA Tozer
- Fanie Viljoen
- Jaco Jacobs
- Petra Müller
- Abraham de Vries
- T.T Cloete
As a hobby she likes to paint.