Ingrid Winterbach

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Ingrid Winterbach (1948–) is a celebrated movelist, artist and playwright


Born Ingrid Gerda Winterbach in Johannesburg on 14 February 1948, she completed her schooling at Florida High School. She went on to study for a B.A. degree, majoring in Afrikaans and Dutch the University of the Witwatersrand (1966-1969) and completed a masters degree on the poetry of Breyten Breytenbach (under the supervision of D.J. Opperman) at the University of Stellenbosch in 1974.

Besides her painting and writing, she also had an academic career, which began in 1970 as assistant in the Department Afrikaans en Nederlands at the University of the Witwatersrand, then taught for a while in Louis Trichardt and Johannesburg (1972) and from 1977 to 1990 she was a lecturer in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Stellenbosch. She then replaced to Durban where she intermittently served as lecturer in Afrikaans at the University of Durban-Westville and the University of Natal between from 1991 and 2001, as well as teaching at Durban Girls’ High School (1993-94).

She is married to

Her writing career

In 1996 she was Visiting Author at the California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles, where she taught creative writing in the School of Critical Studies. She was also a part time journalist for Die Burger.

She initially started writing under the pseudonym Lettie Viljoen, only later publishing under her real name.

Her novels are highly regarded, complex literary works, for which she has received numerous awards, including the Hertzog Prize in 2013.

Contribution to South African Theatre and Performance

In 1984 her novel Klaaglied vir Koos ("Lament for Koos") was published by Taurus Uitgewers under the pseudonym "Lettie Viljoen" and was adapted for the stage by Christo Leach and Barney Simon for production at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg.

She wrote Spyt ("Regret"), her first original play, now using her own name. It was performed at the Aardklop festival in Potchefstroom, produced by Saartjie Botha, directed by Brink Scholtz (Ingrid's daughter) with Stian Bam, Waldemar Schultz, Nicole Holm and Ntombi Makutshi. The play was awarded the AngloGold Ashanti Fyngoud-prys as the best new Afrikaans production at Aardklop. The play was also performed at the KKNK festival on Oudtshoorn in 2011.


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