Human & Rousseau

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Author Focus

Helena Gunter

Biographical info

Helena Gunter was born on 19 November 1954 in Riversdale in the Cape Province. She grew up on the farm Rhenosterfontein, situated near the mouth of the Breede River. In 1972 she matriculated in Heidelberg. She then proceeded to complete a BA Degree and a Diploma in Higher Education at the University of Stellenbosch, after which she taught Afrikaans and History at, among others, Strand High School, D.F. Malan High School, Bloemhof School for Girls and Paul Roos Gymnasium.

After completing an Honours Degree in Afrikaans at the University of South Africa (Unisa), her interest in “literature as history” inspired her to continue her studies. She consequently completed a Masters Degree in Creative Writing under the mentorship of Marlene van Niekerk at the University of Stellenbosch. Her first collection of short stories, Op ’n plaas in Afrika, was published in 2007. She was awarded the Eugène Marais Prize for this collection the following year.

Met koffer en kaart, her second collection of short stories, appeared In 2011. 

Did you know?

In 2008 she was shortlisted for the UJ Debut Prize and the Jan Rabie/Rapport Award for Op ’n plaas in Afrika.

Books still in print

Met koffer en kaart, Human & Rousseau (2011)
Op ’n plaas in Afrika, Human & Rousseau (2007)

Awards and honours

Eugène Marais Prize (2008) – Op ’n plaas in Afrika


2011 Met koffer en kaart, Human & Rousseau
2007 Op ’n plaas in Afrika, Human & Rousseau

*Photograph: Gerrie Smit

Books By This Author