'Bloomer' by Capetonian author Anne Schlebusch.

‘Bloomer’ by Capetonian author Anne Schlebusch. Image: Supplied.

Capetonian author celebrates overlooked voices in latest novel

Author Anne Schlebusch’s new novel tells the wildly funny and touching story of a 70-year-old woman’s journey of self-discovery.

'Bloomer' by Capetonian author Anne Schlebusch.

‘Bloomer’ by Capetonian author Anne Schlebusch. Image: Supplied.

From the mind of author and academic Anne Schlebusch comes a new type of novel proving that coming of age can happen at any age. Schlebusch’s latest novel, Bloomer, tells the story of Maggie, a 70-year-old boomer who goes on a journey of reinvention.

With her gang of lovable and slightly batty friends, Maggie and the other pensioners of Hazyview Mansions set out to reinvent themselves. With humour, wit and important life lessons, Schlebusch’s characters show the world that age really is just a number.


As we celebrate the increasing diversity of voices in South African fiction, the elder voice is often overlooked. Bloomer is a refreshing antidote to that. Schlebusch’s Maggie is a delightful character with an internal life as full and rich as her external exploits. This book deals in second, third, and fourth chances at everything from family life to romantic love, to a career in the arts. I found it both inspiring and stimulating”.

Fiona Sncykers, award-winning author

The voices of the older generation are often disregarded and ignored. In our fast-paced world of miscommunication and isolation, the stories of the older generation get put aside because there is no one to listen.

With a tender look at the joy, pain and wisdom that comes from living a long life, Schlebusch teaches the important lesson that there is so much we can learn from our elders.

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Schlebusch has that uncanny talent of creating characters who are so wonderfully complex that they feel real. The character of 70-year-old boomer Maggie has such a rich internal life that you will forget that she isn’t actually out there busy with mischief. Even though Maggie is my favourite, all of the characters truly tug at your heartstrings.

Everyone, young and old, should read this incredible novel. Bloomer is a revolutionary work that will have you laughing out loud and reminds us that youth fades, but humour and love last a lifetime.


Locked down in an old age home, 70-year-old boomer, Maggie, ditches her bra, browses an old diary and reconnects with her artist self. While the world is happier with its oldies locked away, the lovable elders of Hazyview Mansions, galvanised by Maggie and her four close friends, have their own ideas.

Individual, local and global issues (with a touch of romance) drive the story of this consequential novel with sustained and gentle humour. Bloomer is both enormously fun and truly weighty.


Image via Twitter @anne_schlebusch.

Like Maggie, the protagonist in her exciting debut novel for adults, Anne Schlebusch is 70 years old. This deft author is no stranger to writing though, having been a co-author of language textbooks and a curriculum guide. She has written 3 young adult novels, becoming a 1995 Joint Winner of the “Young Africa Award” with one of them. In 2020, her short story was longlisted in the Kwela Corona Competition.

Anne has always been one for the world of words. After completing her MPhil in Applied Language Studies at UCT in 1995, Anne left teaching to join the Western Cape Education Department. She concluded her long and illustrious career with a decade as Director for Business Strategy.

Bloomer is published by Modjaji Books and is available for purchase from Exclusive Books stores for R330.