Wessel Ebersohn was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1940. He went to school in Cape Town and Somerset West.
At the age of 15 he left school to become a pupil telecommunications technician. His first book to be published was A LONELY PLACE TO DIE in 1977. The rest of his eleven titles have followed in the years since then.
In 1963 he married Miriam. They have three children, six grandchildren and a great grandchild.
In 1995 with the arrival of the democratic dispensation in South Africa, he and Miriam launched SUCCEED magazine, a magazine aimed at assisting small business. For 18 years he was its editor and Miriam its publisher.
Wessel Ebersohn, on his writing: “I have always written. At the age of eight I tried my hand at my first novel, based on a football match. It was long on action, but short on plot or characterisation. It took an apprenticeship of another 31 years before I saw a novel in print. At present I am producing one a year.
“My work has been particularly influenced by the great American novelists: Steinbeck, Hemingway, Hawthorne and James among them. But my subject matter comes from my life experiences and the continuing drama of my own country and continent.”
Ebersohn has been published in the USA, the UK and most European countries.
He is a writer of both general novels and thrillers. His favourite among his own novels is The Classifier, published in 2011. The book is a story of teenage love between Chris, a white boy, and Ruthie, a coloured girl. It is set in the 1970s when apartheid was at its height. Their relationship is complicated by two factors: all sexual contact between the races is illegal, but also the boy’s father is head of the race classification office in the province they live in.
The book is rooted in Ebersohn’s own close contact with the race classification system in those years. Among the South African reviews, Litnet said, “Ebersohn’s evocative and satisfying The Classifier is able to demonstrate impressive insights into a bygone era that will haunt us for a long time still.”
The Stellenbosch Literary Project said, “It offers a vivid way of imagining and understanding the long-term effects of policies such as race classification, and the manner in which the repercussions of these abandoned policies still reverberate through our private lives.”
The Witness: “Ebersohn’s dignified prose is laced with streaks of pure pain, the personal human story never swamped by politics or preachiness.”
Coup: “Highly recommended and such a good read that I’m off to source his earlier novels.”
Business Day: “This tale of young love in apartheid grimness is worth every last word.”
Noseweek: “The author’s subtle, gentle approach to the appalling denouement is all the more effective for its lack of histrionics.”
Radio Today: “What an outstanding book and author! A South African novel that really touched me. Highly, highly recommended!”