Donvé Lee is an artist, writer, mother, traveller and explorer of existence. She has post-graduate degrees in art history and creative writing, and lives in Noordhoek where she runs in the mountains, feasts on silence, the sea and endless cappuccinos and croissants at the Foodbarn Deli. Every year she takes herself off to the Vipassana Centre near Worcester where she spends 10 long days in silent meditation. No books, phones, computers. No Facebook. Bliss.

Reflecting on her writing career, Donvé says, ‘Illustrating and writing children’s stories fed my innner child. Writing The Unfolding Man, a biography about the artist Dan Rakgoathe, satisfied my love for art historical research. Writing books for children about art allowed me, happily, to nurture creativity at the same time, while writing children’s books about sports celebrities dragged me kicking and screaming out of my comfort zone. Finally I decided, after 36 books for little people, to write big stories for big people…’

According to Karin Schimke, books editor of the Cape Times, Donvé’s debut novel An Intimate War, is ‘the most lucid rendition of the madness of love you can hope to find in modern fiction.’

The novel explores a dangerously addictive relationship between two nameless lovers who come from different worlds. She grew up good, clean and quiet. Voices were never raised, anger was never spilled, promises were never broken, the slime of life was never allowed to surface. To escape the prison of perfection, she becomes an artist, but even her art is clean.  He was brought up by man-hating women, who unleashed their anger on him, robbing him of trust, violating his body and his boyhood, leaving him tormented by guilt and shame. Unable to trust anyone, least of all himself, he seethes with anger against women but tries to bury the bad and learn to be good.

An Intimate War pulsates with raw emotion, courageous vulnerability and intense eroticism, and exposes how neediness, shame and self-destructive patterns erupt in an intimate war.

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