Human & Rousseau

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Author Focus

Rayda Jacobs

Biographical info

Rayda Jacobs was born in Diep River, Cape Town on March 6, 1947. She started writing at a young age and sent her first story to Springbok Radio at the age of 12.

In 1968 she immigrated to Toronto, Canada, where she lived for 27 years. She kept on writing and in 1994 her collection of short stories, The Middle Children, was published. In 1995 she returned to South Africa and published her first novel, Eyes of the Sky, in 1996. It won the Herman Charles Bosman Prize for English fiction. In 1998 her second novel, The Slave Book, was published, followed by Sachs Street. These three books can be regarded as a trilogy, but also function independently.

Her fourth novel, Confessions of a Gambler, was published in 2003 and received the Sunday Times award for fiction and the Herman Charles Bosman award in 2004.

Did you know?

In 2007 she was the scriptwriter and co-director of her first movie, Confessions of a Gambler, which was based on her bestselling novel. She also played the lead role.

Author bookshelf

Sachs Street, Kwela Books (2009)
The Slave Book, Kwela Books (2007)
Confessions of a Gambler, Kwela Books (2003)


Herman Charles Bosman Prize (1997) – Eyes of the Sky
Herman Charles Bosman Prize (2004) – Confessions of a Gambler
Sunday Times Prize for English Fiction (2004) – Confessions of a Gambler

List of titles

1994 The Middle Children, Second Story Press
1996 Eyes of the Sky, Kwela
1998 The Slave Book, Kwela
2001 Sachs Street, Kwela
2003 Confessions of a Gambler, Kwela
2004 Postcards from South Africa, Juta
2005 The Mecca Diaries, Juta
2006 My Father’s Orchid, Umuzi

2008 Masquerade, Umuzi


Eyes of the Sky (1996)

  • German (Augen des Himmels, 1999)

The Slave Book

  • German (Die Tochter des Sklaven, 2000)

Confessions of a Gambler

  • Norwegian (En gamblers bekjennelser, 2007)

Books By This Author