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Donvé Lee

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

About Donve Lee

I grew up good, clean and quiet, in the conservative little town of Krugersdorp in the western shadow of Johannesburg. I escaped as soon as I could, rebelled –quietly – and began trying on things. I studied Fine Arts, became a textile designer, a television news assistant, a graphic designer, a feature writer, an art teacher, a traveller, a wife and a mother, before finally realising that I was quite simply, an artist.

After moving to Cape Town in ’96, I acquired post-graduate degrees in art history and creative writing, and began to paint less and write more. Illustrating and writing children’s stories fed my innner child. Writing ‘The Unfolding Man’ a biography about the artist Dan Rakgoathe, satisfied my love for art historical research. Writing books for children about art allowed me, happily, to celebrate and nurture creativity at the same time, while writing children’s books about sports celebrities dragged me kicking and screaming out of my comfort zone. Finally I decided, after 36 books for little people, enough already.

My autobiographical novel ‘An Intimate War’, published in 2010, was described by Cape Times books editor Karin Schimke as ‘the most lucid rendition of the madness of love you can hope to read in modern fiction’. Finally after years of research, ‘Syd Kitchen – Scars that Shine’, was released early 2017 – a bittersweet romp through the life of a troubled but brilliant musician.

I live in Noordhoek in the Cape Peninsula where I feast on silence and the sea, try to write big stories for big people, work towards my Phd in Creative Writing, and dream about painting again. Every year or so I take myself off to the Vipassana Centre near Worcester where I spend 10 long days in silent meditation. No books, phones, chatter, computers. No Facebook. Bliss.


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