Biography of Dalene Matthee

Dalene Matthee (née Scott) is a South African novelist born on October 13, 1938 in Riversdale, Western Cape. As a child, she was always an avid reader, foretelling her future career as a successful author. After graduating from Langenhoven High School, she pursued music at a local conservatory and wrote prose during her free time. When she was 18, she married Larius Matthee, a bank clerk, with whom she had three daughters. Initially she wrote children's stories for a local radio program as a way to supplement the family income. Matthee's official foray into the literary scene began with the publication of her first book, The Twelve-O'Clock Stick, in 1970.

Over the following few decades, Matthee penned several novels, many of which were set in the Knysna forest of South Africa. In 1985, Matthee released Fiela’s Child, the book which has become one of her best-known and which has been developed into a film. In total, Matthee published 11 books during her life. Her illustrious writing career was unfortunately cut short when she died on February 20, 2005 at the age of 66. Matthee's stories, originally written in Afrikaans, have been translated into 14 languages and read all over the world.

Study Guides on Works by Dalene Matthee

Fiela’s Child is a 1985 novel by the South African writer Dalene Matthee. It tells the story of Fiela Komoetie, a black woman in 19th-century South Africa who finds a white toddler at her doorstep. She takes him in, names him Benjamin, and raises...