DT-GB Prizewinners

DESMOND TUTU – GERRIT BRAND PRIZE 2021

Die verlore seun vannie Gaatjie

Writen by: Ivor Swartz

Die verlore seun vannie Gaatjie (The lost boy of the Gaatjie) by Ivor Swartz, published by Lux Verbi, is winner of the Desmond Tutu-Gerrit Brand Prize for debuted writing. The adjudicators write: “What a wonderful testimony! This is a book to read in one sitting; a book that flows and reads easily. Ivor’s story is raw and engaging, the emotions authentic with humour sometimes shining through. He is hurt and he hurts and ends up in jail. Then he shares excellently how the realization dawns that he

cannot be satisfied with his life as it is. When he gets a second chance, he embraces it wholeheartedly. The book is timeous since it tells a life story coming out of the poorest and roughest parts of society. It tells the story from below and is a simple story well told. Swartz quotes Dostojefski saying the mystery of human existence is locked up in finding something to live for instead of only surviving. While this may sound like a generalization at the end of a lesser book, it here is a striking message after the reader has been allowed into the young Swartz’s frightening story of survival in the most unsafe parts of Grabouw.”

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