An interview with retired judge and critically acclaimed Afrikaans author Lodewyk G du Plessis* provides insight into his life and his novel, which was published when he was 80.
Die dao van Daan van der Walt, Lodewyk G du Plessis’ debut novel published in 2018, received many prizes, such as the Helgaard Steyn Prize, the Eugène Marais Prize and the University of Johannesburg Debut Prize to name only a few; and it is a noteworthy achievement for a debut novel, especially for the author, who only started writing in his 70s.
Du Plessis grew up poor, but he explains that, “As a child I had no concept of poverty. I grew up during the Second World War. Times were difficult for everyone. We all walked to school barefoot. I started working during the school holidays at the age of 14.”
It was during those formative school years that his love for words began.
“We had to study Die Grenslose, by WA de Klerk. A story about the clash between idealism and materialism. I recall how my teacher, Mr Mentz, stood next to the window with his foot on the heater. He would read a few paragraphs and then he would…