Pamela Heller-Stern was born on the 28th October (the same day as Harry Oppenheimer) in the Inverugie Nursing Home in Sea Point, Cape Town.
She grew up in a multi-religious succession of schools from Sub A & B at a Presbyterian Church School, followed by junior school at Loreto Convent, also in Sea Point and Standards 4 & 5 (at that time, unlike now where there is no Sub A & B) at Zonnekus Primary School on the Milnerton border with Dutch Reform emphasis and dual medium classes alternating between English and Afrikaans. Finally high school at a predominantly Jewish school, The Good Hope Seminary in Vedehoek, Cape Town.
A bookworm and a rebel, as a child she read under the sheets with a torch when she was supposed to be asleep.
Pam completed a BA at UCT majoring in French & English at the age of 19. Writing occasional poems. B.A. Honours at Rhodes University with Professor Guy Butler followed by a Masters degree in English at UCT when she had her first experience of writing a thesis or book. Then she completed a doctorate with thesis on Aldous Huxley at Wits University where she lectured for 5 years from the ripe old age of 22!
From early on hooked on art and artists – able to recognize from childhood famous artists and their work – Van Gogh’s “Starry Night”, Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring” etc. So not surprising that her husband was an artist and sculptor who came to South Africa from Germany in the mid 1960’s and supposedly from a family of mixed Catholic and Jewish roots which heritage was suppressed during World War 11 for the obvious reasons of survival.
With little time for creative writing once embarked on the fine art business, she wrote a series of 11 short volumes of poetry over a period of 11 years. It was only once she retired from the art business at the beginning of 2008, that she could concentrate on writing longer and researched works, beginning with the novel “The Pink Slippers”, inspired by a true story of a nun who left the church, followed by “It’s a Red Moon and Green Man” set in the old German South West Africa, the main character based to an extent on her husband who died tragically of lung cancer at the age of 53.