Elsa Joubert, 97, Dies; Afrikaans Writer Explored Black Reality

This obituary is a part of a collection about individuals who have died within the coronavirus pandemic. Read about others right here.

Elsa Joubert, one in every of South Africa’s best-known writers within the Afrikaans language, whose apartheid-era novel “The Long Journey of Poppie Nongena” opened the eyes of many white South Africans to the tough therapy that the black majority had been enduring largely out of their sight, died on June 14 in Cape Town. She was 97.

She had obtained a analysis of Covid-19, her son, Nico Steytler, informed South African information media.

Ms. Joubert belonged to a gaggle of dissident writers in Afrikaans — a language derived from the 17th-century Dutch spoken by South Arica’s first white settlers — who referred to as themselves “Die Sestigers” (the Sixtyers, or writers of the 1960s).

Her work ranged from novels to autobiography to travelogues, however amongst her books it was “Poppie Nongena” that struck essentially the most resounding chord in South Africa. First printed in 1978 in Afrikaans as “Die Swerfjare van Poppie Nongena,” the novel tells of a black girl’s wrestle to maintain her household collectively within the face of oppressive apartheid legal guidelines supposed to manage the lives of the black majority from cradle to grave.

In 1995 she published what some reviewers took as a counter-story, “Die Reise van Isobelle” (translated into English in 2002 as “The Long Journey of Isobelle”), which explored the blinkered lives of women in an Afrikaner family over a century.

Source link Nytimes.com

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