Waiting for the BarbariansPaperback Penguin Ink
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- Publisher: Penguin Books
- Format: Paperback | 180 pages
- Dimensions: 124mm x 196mm x 15mm | 181g
- Publication date: 29 June 2010
- Publication City/Country: New York, NY
- ISBN 10: 0143116924
- ISBN 13: 9780143116929
- Edition statement: Reprint
- Sales rank: 53,345
A modern classic, this early novel by Nobel Laureate J. M. Coetzee centers on the crisis of conscience and morality of the Magistrate-a loyal servant of the Empire working in a tiny frontier town, doing his best to ignore an inevitable war with the "barbarians."
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Born in Cape Town, South Africa, on February 9, 1940, John Michael Coetzee studied first at Cape Town and later at the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned a Ph.D. degree in literature. In 1972 he returned to South Africa and joined the faculty of the University of Cape Town. His works of fiction include Dusklands, Waiting for the Barbarians, which won South Africa's highest literary honor, the Central News Agency Literary Award, and the Life and Times of Michael K., for which Coetzee was awarded his first Booker Prize in 1983. He has also published a memoir, Boyhood: Scenes From a Provincial Life, and several essays collections. He has won many other literary prizes including the Lannan Award for Fiction, the Jerusalem Prize and The Irish Times International Fiction Prize. In 1999 he again won Britain's prestigious Booker Prize for Disgrace, becoming the first author to win the award twice in its 31-year history. In 2003, Coetzee was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
"I have known few authors who can evoke such a wilderness in the heart of man. He is an artist of a weight and depth that put him beyond ordinary comparisons...Coetzee knows the elusive terror of Kafka." -- "Sunday Times"
For decades the Magistrate has run the affairs of a tiny frontier settlement, ignoring the impending war between the barbarians and the Empire, whose servant he is. But when the interrogation experts arrive, he is jolted into sympathy for the victims, and into a quixotic act of rebellion which lands him in prison.