About Marguerite Poland
Marguerite Poland has successfully and eloquently mastered writing for both children and adults. Her landmark 1979 book The Mantis And The Moon is credited with establishing a market for indigenous children’s books in English in South Africa. Poetic, sensitively-layered and lucid, Poland’s novels for adults have won several prestigious awards. A meticulous researcher, she has also written a number of academic papers and reports.
Poland grew up and was educated in the Eastern Cape. She is a graduate of Rhodes and Stellenbosch Universities and the University of KwaZulu-Natal and has a BA in Xhosa and Social Anthropology, an Honours degree in Comparative African Languages and an MA in Zulu Literature. She has held research posts in museums and universities and recently taught English for a year at St Andrew’s College in Grahamstown.
Fluent in Xhosa and isiZulu, much of Poland’s work reflects her interest in African culture with some of her childrens stories in particular inspired by African oral traditions. Her keen understanding and appreciation of the South African landscape, its fauna and flora, as well as its peoples, is colourfully evident in her writing.
Married with two daughters, Marguerite Poland spends her time between Grahamstown and Durban.
Novels & Non-fiction:
Train to Doringbult 1987 (The Bodley Head) (shortlisted for the CNA Award)
Shades 1993 (Viking/Penguin) (shortlisted for the M-Net Award)
Iron Love 1999 (Viking/Penguin)
The Abundant Herds 2003 (Fernwood Press)
Recessional for Grace 2003 (Viking/Penguin)
The Boy in You 2009 (Fernwood Press)
Taken Captive by Birds 2012 (Penguin)
The Keeper 2014 (Penguin)
Childrens Books – 11 titles including:
The Mantis and the Moon (Ravan) (Percy Fitzpatrick Award 1979)
The Woodash Stars 1983 (David Philip) (Percy Fitzpatrick Award 1983)
Once at KwaFubesi 1982 (Ravan)
The Shadow of the Wild Hare 1984 (David Philip)
Photo courtesy Greaves Photography