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Therese Benadé

Author of fiction

Therese Benadé was born in October 1942 at Volksrust, South Africa, the third daughter of a Dutch Reformed minister. She grew up in Rustenburg, Transvaal where she matriculated. In 1963 she graduated from Stellenbosch University in English and French.
Therese has lived in South Africa, Rhodesia, England, Canada, Brazil, Pakistan, the US and Indonesia. A Canadian citizen, she lives in Ipswich, Massachusetts with her husband, Jim Armstrong. Her two adult children are Rex and Kirstie van der Spuy, from the first marriage. She has travelled extensively in Europe and India. Languages: Bilingual, Afrikaans being her mother tongue. She is also functional in Dutch, German, French and Portuguese, and gets along in Italian, Spanish, Urdu and Bahasa Indonesia.
She taught Afrikaans and French as a Second Language, deaf children, Orff Music for Children and still teaches piano.
Interests: playing the piano and recorder, listening to classical and folk music while embroidering, crocheting or knitting, doing calligraphy and decorating Ukrainian Easter eggs, raising silkworms, collecting shells and fossils, collecting and studying textiles and the decorative arts.
While teaching has provided a living, writing is her life's focus. It has taken many years of speaking and reading English before she has had the confidence to write creatively in that language. She regards her first two novels as exercises.
Works in progress include an Exercise Book with travel and human-interest stories from the physical and emotional places she has been and a collection of Poetry. Many of the poems in this collection form the literary infrastructure for The Layered Life of Tok-Tokkie, an ongoing personal history. The episodes in this work are thematic rather than chronological and reflect the author's search for roots, her struggle with the Calvinist beliefs of her parents and the values of Apartheid South Africa. It also explores the endless possibilities for personal growth through love and friendship, motherhood and teacher hood, and the ever-curious exploration of the people and world around us.
Bluestocking, a novel inspired by the author's uncertain mother, her musically talented roommate and their Latin professor. Personal knowledge of her mother and the professor combines with a love for music and poetry to portray a story of friendships, intellectual ambition, a search for spirituality and an evolving Afrikaner identity in the late 1920's and early 1930's


Kites of Good Fortune, New Africa Books, 2004/David Phillips, 2012/Anna, Dogter van Angela van Bengale, 2004/, David Phillips Publishers, 2005

Therese is now actively seeking representation for her work. She needs a publisher for Bluestocking and The Layered Life of Tok-Tokkie and a re-publication of Kites of Good Fortune in North America and Europe. Please call or e-mail if you are interested in assisting. You will not regret it!

Text by Therese Benadé

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