Human & Rousseau

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Author Focus

Ina Rousseau

Biographical info

Marthina Cornelia (Ina) Rousseau was born in Roodepoort on February 3, 1926. She matriculated at Monument High School in Krugersdorp after which she studied at the University of Stellenbosch. She worked at the Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal (WAT) for a while.

In 1958 Ina married Bob Noël. They lived in Zimbabwe for a couple of years after which they moved to Pietermaritzburg.

Her first poems were published in 1946 in the anthology Stiebeuel. Ina’s first volume of poetry, Die verlate tuin, was published in 1954. In 1996 she was awarded the Hertzog Prize for poetry for her volume ’n Onbekende jaartal. Ina Rousseau passed away in Cape Town on 13 August, 2005.

Did you know?


  • The well-known author JM Coetzee translated Ina’s poem “Eden”, published in 1954, into English and analysed it for the April 2007 edition of the magazine Poetry.
  • The cabaret artist Emile Minnie set some of Ina’s poems to music for his stage show Paradys. It was performed at the KKNK in 2007.
  • Her short story “Onthou jy vir Helena Lem” formed the basis of a stage show titled Salt Chocolate, which premièred in New York in 2004.

Author bookshelf

Die stil middelpunt, Human & Rousseau (2004)


Reina Prinsen Geerligs Prize (1953) – Die verlate tuin
Hertzog Prize for Poetry (1996) – ’n Onbekende jaartal

List of titles

1954 Die verlate tuin, Human & Rousseau
1970 Taxa, Human & Rousseau
1978 Kwiksilwersirkel, Human & Rousseau
1980 Heuningsteen, Human & Rousseau
1984 Versamelde gedigte: 1954-1984, Human & Rousseau
1989 Grotwater, Human & Rousseau
1995 ’n Onbekende jaartal, Human & Rousseau
2003 Die stil middelpunt (compiled by Daniel Hugo), Human & Rousseau

1957 Kwartet, Nasionale Boekhandel
1979 Soutsjokolade, Tafelberg

2000 Nuwe Verset, Protea

Books By This Author