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C. L. Marais Library
C. L. Marais Library (1901)
Painting by Hérine Fourie

Audrey Blignault

1916 - 2008

Audrey Blignault

Author of essays and short stories

'A much loved and most productive short story writer'

Audrey Bettie Blignault, née Swart, was born on 6 July 1916 at Bredasdorp. She grew up in two languages; her mother was English and her father spoke Afrikaans, while her schooling was in English.
Audrey studied Afrikaans literature at Stellenbosch University and when she discovered the richness of Afrikaans poetry, she decided that this was the language in which she, too, wanted to write.
'In my studiejare op Stellenbosch het ek die opwindende en verrykende vernuwing van die Afrikaanse poësie beleef... Toe ek self begin skryf, het ek in Afrikaans geskryf omdat dit vir my die natuurlike uiting was.'
(From an interview with Marguerite Black in LitNet.)
Audrey was editor of Die Huisvrou and from 1950 she was the columnist of Uit die dagboek van 'n vrou in Sarie Marais. From 1946 she also worked for radio and her programmes, Wat kan ek lees? and Boeke vir ons kinders, inspired people to greater reading.
'As Langenhoven die Afrikaaner leer lees het, het Audrey Blignault gesorg dat hy aan die lees bly.'
(Hennie Aucamp)
(Langenhoven taught the Afrikaners to read and Audrey made sure they kept reading)
Audrey lost her first husband, Andries Blignault, in a car accident in 1967. While she lay in a coma in hospital, Sarie contacted her daughter, Marié Heese, to stand in for her mother as a writer.
Audrey Blignault married A J (Attie) de Villiers in 1970 and they lived in Gardens, Cape Town.
Audrey Blignault died on 1 October 2008 at Cape Town.

Awards and Honours:

Eugène Marais Prize for her first two volumes 1961
WA Hofmeyer Prize for best Afrikaans literature 1965 for Met ligter tred and other prosa.
First woman to be elected as member of the Council, South African Academy of Art and Science, in 1973
The Italian Adelaide Ristori Prize for valuable contributions to culture 1980
The State President's Award for Outstanding Service 1982
Doctor honoris causa, Stellenbosch University 1991
Honorary Member of the Academy of Art and Science 1994


To celebrate Audrey Blignault's 80th birthday Elize Botha and Hennie Aucamp compiled a collection of her short stories: Mal Hansie en ander verhale
'n Blywende vreugde, a collection of Audrey Blignault's letters, was published in 2008. (Compilers: Petrovna Metelerkamp, Lynne Fourie and Marina Brink) (Books published by Tafelberg)
Die PlesierboomIn klein maat, Nasionale Boekhandel, 1955
Die vrolike lied, N. B., 1957
Met ligter tred, N. B., 1962
Die blye dae, N. B., 1965
Die plesierboom, N. B., 1967
Om die son te aanskou, 1968
Die verlange loop ver, N. B., 1969
Die rooi granaat, Tafelberg, 1970
Die wind van die see af, 1972
Nogtans sal ek jubel, 1977 (Compilation by Elize Botha)
Pas op vir Jantatarat, 1979
Van leser tot leser, 1980 ('n handleiding vir leeskringe)
Die goue vreugde, 1985 (illustrated by Cora Coetzee)
'n Oulap se rooi, 1988 (compilation of essays)
Die eindelose avontuur: venster op die wêreldletterkunde, 1993
Dit rëen rose, 1996 (autobiographical stories)
Audrey Blignault: 'n Blywende vreugde, a collection of her letters. Compilers: Petrovna Metelerkamp, Lynne Fourie and Marina Brink, 2008
Uit die dagboek van 'n vrou, 2009 (collated by Marié, as Audrey's daughter, in the form of an autobiograhpy, compiled from Audrey's published works)
Mal Hansie en ander verhale


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