Human & Rousseau

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Author Focus

Margaret Bakkes

Biographical info

Margaret Magdel Bakkes was born at Sterkstroom in the Eastern Cape on December 14 1931. She grew up on the farm Klapkloof in the Sterkstroom district and the Stormberge. She attended Queenstown Girls' High, and matriculated at Sterkstroom High. After leaving school she worked at the State Translation Bureau for a year. She then studied at the University of Pretoria and the Pretoria Teachers’ Training College and majored in Afrikaans, English and History, after which she taught for two years. Margaret initially became known as a writer of short stories in magazines. Her first short story was published in 1954 in Rooi Rose. In the 1960’s Leon Rousseau, the “Rousseau” from the publishers Human & Rousseau, phoned her and suggested that her popular serials should be published in book form, which lead to Die verste reis being published in 1966.

She wrote more than thirty books – novels and short story collections, and several short stories were translated into Dutch. Some of her writing was also published in the Flemish magazine, ZAN.

She is married to the historian Cas Bakkes and they have four children: Johan, Marius, Matilde and Christiaan.

Did you know?

· The well-known author Hennie Aucamp is her second cousin, and two of her children, Johan and Christiaan, are also writers.
· In 1999 Susanna die geliefde was adapted for the stage with Joanie Combrink, Susanne Beyers and Johann Nel.
· Several of her books (the novel Elegie vir ’n onbekende, and the collection of short stories Wat op die middag verwoes, as well as several stories and anthologies) were prescribed for secondary schools and some of her novels were read on the radio.
· The first issue of the Sunday newspaper Dagbreek in 1965 started with a new story by Margaret Bakkes.

Author bookshelf 

Klein land van die liefde, Human & Rousseau (2011) 
'n Ver plek vir Zilla
, Human & Rousseau (2010)
My ouma in kaneel, Human & Rousseau (2009)

List of titles

1966 Die verste reis
1970 ’n Kring Voltooid
1972 My broer se hoeder
1973 Brood en klip
1973 Beroering op Bergdal
1973 Bitterwater
1973 Soetdoring
1973 Brood en klip
1973 ’n Baksel in die more: Boerestories uit die Stormberge (with Hennie Aucamp)
1975 Waar jou skat is
1975 Hou terug die winter
1976 Klein land van die liefde
1977 Wat op die middag verwoes (short stories)
1977 Ver plek vir Zilla
1978 Die Margaret Bakkes-omnibus (Vreemde tuiste, Gebonde jare en Die ver reis)
1979 Sing vir ons, Mathilda (short stories)
1981 Die hart van Meeubaai
1982 Die Margaret Bakkes-tweeluik
1984 Elegie vir ’n onbekende
1984 Die langste nag en ander verhale (short stories)
1985 Ontheemdes (short stories)
1986 My ouma in kaneel (youth stories)
1986 Pad uit die vreemde
1987 ’n Kring voltooid
1988 By omdraai verby
1988 Susanna die geliefde
1989 Kroniek van die sewe blou waens: die kort lewe van Gert Maritz
1990 Terug van die doringpad (youth stories)
1995 Die reise van Olga Dolsjikowa en ander omswerwinge (short stories)
2005 Littekens (short stories)
2007 Bitterwater en Soetdoring
2007 Verhale uit die Stormberge (Altyd kom die somer weer and Brood en klip)
2007 Verhale van die Weskus (Waar jou skat is and In die hart van Meeubaai)
2009 My ouma in kaneel (reissue)
2010 'n Ver plek vir Zilla

In compilations
1985 Hoogtepunte in die Afrikaanse verhaalkuns – A.P. Grové
1986 Die Afrikaanse kortverhaalboek – deur Abraham H. de Vries
1991 Vertellers 2 – Merwe Scholtz
1992 Vrou: Mens – Corlia Fourie
1994 Vrouevertellers 1843-1993 – Annemarie van Niekerk
1997 Dogters van Afrika – Riana Scheepers
1997 Wys my waar is Timboektoe – Hennie Aucamp
1998 Boereoorlogstories – Jeanette Ferreira
2000 Uit die kontreie vandaan – Abraham de Vries


Helpmekaar Prize for light fiction (1989) – Susanna die geliefde


1990 The heart of Gull Rock (translation of Die hart van Meeubaai) – translated by Madeleine van Biljon

Books By This Author