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PG du Plessis

Du Plessis se styl is vlot en onderhoudend – hy vertel immers ’n hoogs emosionele verhaal – en hy doen dit met die nodige dramatiese flair. Marina le Roux, Die Burger (2008)

PieterGeorg(PG)duPlessiswasborninBoshofinthe Free State on 14 July 1934. He matriculated at the Hoër Volkskool in Heidelberg. In 1955 he obtained a B.A. degree (Afrikaans-Nederlands and History) from the University of Pretoria. In 1966 Du Plessis obtained his doctorate on Die verwysing in die literatuur under NP van Wyk Louw. He became a director at the HSRC, chief sub-editor at the magazine Standpunte, assistant editor of the daily newspaper Die Transvaler and editor of Hoofstad.

His first drama, Die nag van Legio, was released in 1969. He received the Hertzog Prize for Drama in 1972 for Die nag van Legio and Siener in die suburbs. He also became known for Koöperasiestories, that was reworked as a TV series. He was the screenwriter for the TV series Feast of the uninvited, which he later reworked into a novel Fees van die ongenooides that appeared in 2008. Du Plessis currently lives on his farm near Rysmierbult in North- West Province.

Points of interest

Siener in die suburbs was performed in the 1970s with Marius Weyers, Sandra Prinsloo, Don Lambrecht and Louis van Niekerk in the leading roles. Later it was also reworked for radio and television. In 2002 Siener was performed at the KKNK, directed by Chris Vorster.

Du Plessis and Jan Spies were the presenters of the popular TV programme Spies en Plessie ... met permissie.

He founded his own film company in 1987 and wrote the screenplays of films such as Nag van die negentiende, Liewe hemel, Genis and Koöperasiestories: die moewie.

Inthelastfewyearshisplays,suchas Nagkantoor and Sophia Mentz beredder haar boedel, were performed nationwide.

Publications

LITERARY CRITICISM

1968 Die verwysing in die literatuur

PLAYS

1969 Die nag van legio

1971 Siener in die suburbs

1973 Plaston: DNS-kind

1977 ’n Seder val in Waterkloof

1985 Vereeniging, Vereeniging

PROSE: SHORT STORIES

1980 Koöperasiestories op Donderdag

1983 Hier sit die manne …

1985 Nog koöperasiestories

1991 Koöperasiestories: die omnibus

1997 Tussen die riewe

1998 Tweehonderd stories

2006 120+ sommerstories

2009 Kortetjies en ‘n lange

PROSE: SKETCHES

1987 Het olifante elmboë?

1993 Neklis

PROSE: NOVELS

1998 The Married Man’s Guide to Adultery: A Study of Adulterations

2008 Fees van die ongenooides

Other awards

1970 W.A. Hofmeyr Prize – Die nag van legio 

1971 CNA Prize – Siener in die suburbs 

1972 Hertzog Prize for Drama - Die nag van legio and Siener in die suburbs 

1973 W.A. Hofmeyr Prize – Siener in die suburbs 

1988 FAK Prize for Light Fiction – Het olifante elmboë?

2002 Insig Afrikaans Onbeperk Pioniers Prize 

2007 ATKV Television Prize for Best Script – for the TV series Dryfsand

2009 ATKV Prize (Prose) – Fees van die ongenooides 

 

Translations

1969 Die nag van legio - English (My name is Legion)

1971 Siener in die suburbs - English (Seer in the suburbs – theatre production)

PG du Plessis received the Helgaard Steyn Award for his highly successful Boer War novel Fees van die ongenooides. It was regarded by the judging panel as the best work that was written in the preceding four years.

The novel is about the ups and downs of an extended Free State family, the Van Wyks, during the Boer War. This war is still regarded and remembered as important in the collective psyche of South Africans. The novel is not the typical story of the Boer War, as its focus is on the unusual and unfamiliar facets of the war history, especially the way it is told, giving a certain view on the given facts of history.