Schoeman, Karel (1939–) By Burger, Willie
Although Karel Schoeman is not as well-known as his South African contemporaries André Brink, Nadine Gordimer, J. M., Coetzee and Breyten Breytenbach, he is one of the finest South African novelists. He was born on 26 October 1939 in the small town of Trompsburg in the southern Free State—a specific setting to which he often returns in his later fiction. He grew up with his mother, first in Bloemfontein and later in Paarl. After obtaining a BA degree from the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, Schoeman converted to Catholicism and studied at the St John Vianny Seminary in Pretoria.