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J. M. Coetzee

Author of Disgrace

91+ Works 38,103 Members 865 Reviews 199 Favorited

About the Author

J.M. Coetzee's full name is John Michael Coetzee. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1940, Coetzee is a writer and critic who uses the political situation in his homeland as a backdrop for many of his novels. Coetzee published his first work of fiction, Dusklands, in 1974. Another book, Boyhood, show more loosely chronicles an unhappy time in Coetzee's childhood when his family moved from Cape Town to the more remote and unenlightened city of Worcester. Other Coetzee novels are In the Heart of the Country and Waiting for the Barbarians. Coetzee's critical works include White Writing and Giving Offense: Essays on Censorship. Coetzee is a two-time recipient of the Booker Prize and in 2003, he won the Nobel Literature Award. (Bowker Author Biography) J. M. Coetzee's books include "Boyhood", "Dusklands", "In the Heart of the Country", "Waiting for the Barbarians", "Life & Times of Michael K", "Foe", & "The Master of Petersburg". A professor of general literature at the University of Cape Town, Coetzee has won many literary awards, including the CNA Prize (South Africa's premier literary award), the Booker Prize (twice), the Prix Etranger Femina, the Jerusalem Prize, the Lannan Literary Award, & The Irish Times International Fiction Prize. (Publisher Provided) show less


Works by J. M. Coetzee

Disgrace (1999) 10,865 copies
Waiting for the Barbarians (1980) 4,374 copies
Life & Times of Michael K (1983) 2,819 copies
Elizabeth Costello (2003) 2,628 copies
Slow Man (2005) 2,035 copies
Foe (1986) 1,869 copies
Youth (2002) 1,712 copies
Diary of a Bad Year (2007) 1,371 copies
The Master of Petersburg (1994) 1,168 copies
Age of Iron (1990) 1,131 copies
In the Heart of the Country (1977) 934 copies
The Childhood of Jesus (2013) 780 copies
The Lives of Animals (1999) 612 copies
Dusklands (1974) 611 copies
The Schooldays of Jesus (2016) 329 copies
The Death of Jesus (2019) 143 copies
The Pole (2022) 115 copies
The Nobel Lecture in Literature, 2003 (2003) — Author — 90 copies
Late essays : 2006-2017 (2017) 85 copies
Moral Tales (2019) 58 copies
A Land Apart: A Contemporary South African Reader (1986) — Editor — 49 copies
The Pole and Other Stories (2023) 34 copies
Three stories (2014) 28 copies
Wat is een klassieke roman? (2006) 19 copies
Nietverloren (2018) 14 copies
Brighton Rock 12 copies
Waiting for the Barbarians {2019 film} (2020) — Writer — 11 copies
Boyhood; and Youth (2003) 9 copies
Age of Iron ; Life & Times of Michael K (1990) — Author — 4 copies
De Pool (2023) 3 copies
O cio da terra 2 copies
Ensaios Recentes (2020) 2 copies
The Novel in Africa (2003) 2 copies
ASKUND 1 copy
Truth in autobiography (1984) 1 copy
Itt és most 1 copy
What Is Realism (1997) 1 copy

Associated Works

The Scarlet Letter (1850) — Introduction, some editions — 36,703 copies
Brighton Rock (1938) — Introduction, some editions — 5,157 copies
Bad Trips (1991) — Contributor — 233 copies
Granta 77: What We Think of America (2002) — Contributor — 218 copies
The Best American Essays 1998 (1998) — Contributor — 191 copies
Granta 52: Food : The Vital Stuff (1995) — Contributor — 146 copies
Granta 58: Ambition (1997) — Contributor — 144 copies
The Expedition to the Baobab Tree: A Novel (1981) — Translator, some editions — 115 copies
Mascara (1988) — Afterword, some editions — 66 copies
The Best Australian Stories 2004 (2004) — Contributor — 32 copies
The Best Australian Essays: A Ten-Year Collection (2011) — Contributor — 29 copies
The Best Australian Essays 2006 (2006) — Contributor — 23 copies
Erotikon: Essays on Eros, Ancient and Modern (2005) — Contributor — 23 copies
The Best Australian Essays 2004 (2004) — Contributor — 22 copies
The Best Australian Essays 2007 (2007) — Contributor — 21 copies
The Best Australian Essays 2009 (2009) — Contributor — 21 copies
The Best Australian Stories 2002 (2002) — Contributor — 15 copies
The Best Australian Essays 2003 (2003) — Contributor — 15 copies
The Return of Thematic Criticism (1993) — Contributor — 10 copies
The Best Australian Essays 2014 (2014) — Contributor — 9 copies
The New Salmagundi Reader (1996) — Contributor — 3 copies


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Common Knowledge



July 2013: J.M. Coetzee in Monthly Author Reads (July 2019)
Coetzee in November in 2015 Category Challenge (November 2015)


He just doesn't get it!

The He in question is David Lurie a college lecturer in the university of Cape Town in South Africa. A white male of 52 years old who sees himself as a sort of Byronic figure. He readily uses his power and position to satisfy his sexual needs; only now as he gets older his main concern is that he may be losing his appeal. He has always been disgraceful, but when he seduces a 20 year old female student of his, he faces the wrath of an investigating committee, after her family make a formal complaint. He readily admits his guilt, agrees that he has done wrong, but sees no reason why he should apologise or seek help. He will lose his job and his reputation, but sees no reason to change his behaviour. When faced with a more difficult position when his daughter is raped and he is beaten up, he still demonstrates that he has a total inability to see another persons point of view or 'walk in their shoes'. He is selfish, egotistical and remains so until the end of the novel. He just doesn't get it. This is not a bildungsroman.

This novel published in 1999 won Coetzee his second Booker prize and in my opinion it was a very worthy winner, because not only is it a good extremely well written story, it throws up so many themes and issues around post colonial Africa, women's equality and even animal rights in just over 200 pages, that it could keep college lecturers in employment until the end of this century (assuming they could keep their sex in their pants or their knickers, while at work). There have been many fine reviews, analysis and expositions of the story line and so I don't want to add another one to the list, but there have also been many thoughts expressed that I think are wrong headed. In my opinion this is not a book that shows, or even hints at, some sort of redemption for David Lurie. He is clearly a man out of his time. This is important because as a reader we see almost everything through David Luries' eyes, although it is written in the third person. Lucy his daughter cannot explain to him, her fears and concerns after the attack, because she knows he will not be able to grasp the reasons that she behaves the way she does. He will only make it worse. He will not understand. He will not get it. It is best that he keeps himself occupied with his pointless attempts to write an opera on Byron's final years. Just because he shows empathy towards an injured dog in the final paragraph of the book doesn't mean he is on the path towards redemption.

A brilliant novel 5 stars.
… (more)
baswood | 275 other reviews | May 20, 2024 |
A stunning, disturbing novel of a father and daughter and their changing lives in the South Africa of today.
featherbooks | 275 other reviews | May 7, 2024 |
A bleak, austere work from a master fiction writer. Coetzee conjures up a book that is part-allegory, part-captivating fiction, and part-news article. His vision of a wartorn South Africa in the mid-to-late 20th century is stark, with not a word out of place. Coetzee takes us to the essence of man, but also to the lives of low, rough individuals, caught by circumstance and cruel society. It's a reminder of the challenges facing people at the bottom of the pecking order, and the unrealistic expectations held by the rest of us towards them. But also an effective, scathing portrait of a society torn at every angle.… (more)
therebelprince | 69 other reviews | Apr 21, 2024 |
found it super hard to read due to it being severely uninteresting, very boring, good riddance ! misogynistic
1 vote
highlandcow | 275 other reviews | Mar 13, 2024 |


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½ 3.6

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