Christopher van Wyk

Christopher Van Wyk

Christopher van Wyk

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Christopher van Wyk (born 1957 in Soweto) is a South African children’s book author, novelist and poet.

Van Wyk was educated at Riverlea High School in Riverlea, Johannesburg, where he lived until 2005. He worked as a clerk for the independent South African Committee for Higher Education (SACHED) as an educational writer of accessible literature for new readers. He was also editor of Staffrider from 1981 to 1986 and in 1980 started the short-lived Wietie magazine with Fhazel Johennesse.

During the literary explosion among black writers that followed the Soweto uprising in 1976 van Wyk published a volume of poetry, It Is Time to Go Home (1979), that won the 1980 Olive Schreiner Prize. The book is characterized by the preoccupations of other Soweto poets such as Mongane Serote, Sipho Sepamla, and Mafika Gwala and employs the language of defiance and assertion in poetry that reveals at all times the Black Consciousness of the era. In 1981 he received the Maskew Miller Longman Award for black children's literature for A Message in the Wind (1982), the story of two boys who travel in their homemade time machine to their shared tribal past of 1679. Other children's stories include Peppy 'n Them (1991) and Petroleum and the Orphaned Ostrich (1988). He has written books for neo-literate adults, such as The Murder of Mrs. Mohapi (1995), My Cousin Thabo (1995), Take a Chance (1995), My Name is Selina Mabiletsa (1996), and Sergeant Dlamini Falls in Love (1996),...
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