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Elsa Joubert (OIS), born as Elsabé Antoinette Murray on 19 October 1922 in Paarl, is an Afrikaans-speaking South African writer. Elsa Joubert rose to prominence with her novel Die swerfjare van Poppie Nongena, which was translated into 13 languages and also staged as a drama.
Elsa Joubert grew up in Paarl and matriculated from the all-girls school La Rochelle in Paarl in 1939. She then studied at the University of Stellenbosch from which she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1942 and an SED (Secondary Education Diploma) in 1943. She continued her studies at the University of Cape Town which she left with a Master's degree in Dutch-Afrikaans literature at in 1945.
After graduating, Elsa Joubert taught at the Hoër Meisieskool, an all-girls high school in Cradock, then worked as the editor of the women’s pages of Huisgenoot, a well-known Afrikaans family magazine, from 1946 to 1948. She then started writing full-time and travelled extensively in Africa, from the springs of the Nile in Uganda, through the Sudan, to Cairo, as well as to Mozambique, Mauritius, Réunion, Madagascar, and Angola. She also visited Indonesia.
- fellow of the British Royal Society of Literature
- honorary doctorate from Stellenbosch University (2001)
- Eugène Marais Prize for Ons wag op die kaptein (1964)
- CNA Prize for Bonga (1971)
- W.A. Hofmeyr Prize, for Poppy Nongena (1979)
- W.A. Hofmeyr Prize and Hertzog Prize for Die reise van Isobelle
- Louis Luyt Prize and CNA Prize (1997)
- Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize of the Royal Society of Literature for Poppie (1980)
- Olivier Award for the best play (London)
- Obi Award for best script (New York)
- Hertzog Prize for prose (1998)
List of works
- Water en woestyn (Uganda en Kaïro), Dagbreek Boekhandel, 1957
- Die verste reis (Wes-Europa), 1959
- Suid van die wind (Madagaskar), 1962
- Ons wag op die kaptein - To die at sunset, Tafelberg, 1963
- Die staf van Monomotapa (Mosambiek), 1964
- Swerwer in die Herfsland (Oos-Europa), 1968
- Die nuwe Afrikaan (Angola), Tafelberg, 1974
- Gordel van Smarag (Indonesië), Tafelberg, 1997
Novels and Short Stories
- Die Wahlerbrug, Tafelberg, 1969
- Bonga, Tafelberg, 1971
- Die swerfjare van Poppie Nongena, Tafelberg, 1978 - The long journey of Poppie Nongena (1980), translated into 13 languages and also put to the stage as drama.
- Melk (Short Stories), Tafelberg, 1980
- Die laaste Sondag - The last Sunday, Tafelberg, 1983
- Poppie — die drama, (co-author Sandra Kotzé), 1984
- Die vier vriende, 1985 - The four friends (1987) (children's book)
- Missionaris, 1988
- Dansmaat (Short Stories), Tafelberg, 1993
- Die reise van Isobelle, Tafelberg, 1995
- Twee Vroue, Tafelberg, 2002
- "The Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize". The Royal Society of Literature. Retrieved 2011-04-07.