Adieu: Karel Schoeman (1939 – 2017)
South African author Karel Schoeman has passed away in Bloemfontein, South Africa. According to Carl Van Rensburg, his lawyer, Schoeman committed suicide on May 1, 2017.
Born in 1939 in Trompsburg, South Africa, the historian, translator and novelist, Karel Schoeman held a Bachelors of art degree in languages from the University of the Free State and a higher diploma in library studies. Writing mainly in Afrikaans, he was known for works of history and non-fiction books, including 19 novels. In an illustrious career, Schoeman was tipped for the Nobel Prize and won several honours including the Afrikaans Literary Award, the Hertzog Prize (three times; Fakkellig, ’n Lug vol helder wolke and Spiraal in 1971, ’n Ander land in 1986, and Hierdie lewe in 1995), the Recht Malan Prize for excellence in non-fiction books four times), and inter alia the prestigious Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger in France, 2009.
In addition, Karel Schoeman was one of two writers honoured with the State President award on President Nelson Mandela’s in 1999. His 1972 novel Na die Geliefde Land (To the Beloved Country) was adapted into an award-winning feature film, Promised Land, with screenplay by Jason Xenopoulos. He also produced and published several screenplays, one of which is an adaptation of his first novel, Veldslag, which was broadcasted on South African national television in the 1980s.
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