A young English biographer is working on a book about the late writer, John Coetzee. He plans to focus on a period in the seventies when, the biographer senses, Coetzee was 'finding his feet as a writer'. He embarks on a series of interviews with people who were important to Coetzee - a married woman with whom he had an affair, his favourite cousin Margot, a Brazilian dancer whose daughter had English lessons with him, former friends and colleagues. Thus emerges a portrait of the young Coetzee as an awkward, bookish individual, regarded as an outsider within the family. His insistence on doing manual work, his long hair and beard, and rumours that he writes poetry evoke nothing but suspicion in the South Africa of the time.
- Paperback | 272 pages
- 129 x 198 x 17mm | 192g
- 04 Oct 2010
- Vintage Publishing
- London, United Kingdom
A subtle, allusive meditation: an intriguing map of a weak character's constricted heart struggling against the undertow of suspicion within South Africa's claustrophobic, unpoetic, overtly macho society
Compelling, funny, moving and full of life * Observer * A poignant, cubistic portrait...It is not essential, however, that one know anything of Boyhood, Youth, or his other works to appreciate its rich offerings as an imaginatively distorted and distorting portrait of the artist as outsider * TLS * A subtle, allusive meditation: an intriguing map of a weak character's constricted heart struggling against the undertow of suspicion within South Africa's claustrophobic, unpoetic, overtly macho society * Financial Times * The cumulative effect of Coetzee's unblinking honesty and his never-wavering seriousness is an understanding of the creation of a great writer * Sunday Telegraph * Wonderful stuff. But then, Coetzee is wonderful: edgy, black, remorselessly human, witty, and often outright funny... Summertime is offbeat and deliberate, elusive and truthful * Irish Times *
About J.M. Coetzee
J.M. Coetzee's work includes Waiting for the Barbarians, Life & Times of Michael K, Boyhood, Youth, Disgrace, Summertime, The Childhood of Jesus and, most recently, The Schooldays of Jesus. He was the first author to win the Booker Prize twice and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2003.