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J.M. Coetzee Message Board 2/21/2007 11:12:05 AM
Talk about the novels, new and used books that Coetzee has written!

Author Coetzee's Book Reviews

Age of Iron
An old lady is told that she has cancer, it has affected her bones. She has got a daughter who is now living in the United States, far from South Africa, where she was born and where her mother is living now. The story is developed when Apartheid regime is taking place. The very same day the old woman gets to know about her illness and has a feeling of deep loneliness, she meets a black man, homeless, who has found a place to sleep in her property. ...
Boyhood: Scenes from Provincial Life
It's South Africa in the 50s, and John is a first-in-his-class high school student with an afrikaner last name in a classroom of English boys. He feels different in many ways. He's not a lonely kid, he just happens to have different preferences, such as liking the russians more than the americans. He's got problems with his father, he doesn't love him, and the struggle with his mother is of a love and hate relationship. This memoirs soon become a rich...
Disgrace
Set in South Africa, a middle-aged caucasian professor disgraces himself by having an affair with beautiful but much younger female student. The scandal forces him to take a leave of absence and he uses the opportunity to visit his daughter, Lucy in the rural countryside. One day a trio of thugs attacks them at her home. Lucy is gang-raped while her father is beaten and set on fire. While they both survive the attack, they must cope with the aftermat...
Foe
Susan Barton, an English woman looking for her lost daughter in Brazil, finds herself lost in an island where she meets Robinson Crusoe and his servant Friday. Crusoe dies in the process, and Susan and Friday return to England. However, Susan can't establish any relations with Friday since he's lost his tongue in the island. She must learn to cope with his and her own survival in London, as she writes letters about her story to a citizen named Daniel Fo...

Coetzee booklist

In the heart of the country
Magda, a farmer in then colonial South Africa, is jealous of his old father's mistress, who also happens to be the servant Henrik's wife. So Magda writes this journal (this book) in which she lets her mind flow, describes the plans she makes to assasinate the concubine and cries for her frustrated desire of becoming a woman (she's never had a sexual experience being 50-something). In the midst of this stream of consciousness, she informs us of how she...
Life and Times of Michael K
The story of Michael K is set in South Africa during the 70s when civil war is taking place. At first the reader could think that this is a book about racial conflicts but it goes beyond that, it is a story of a man who has been brought up as an outcast, someone who has no place in the turbulent society of those times. Michael has a hare lip and he is also a bit slow. The story begins when he is 31 years old and he has to help his mother who is seriou...
The Master of Petersburg
The main character, 19th Century author Fyodor Dostoyevski, travels from his exile back to St. Petersburg to understand the death of his son Pavel. Fyodor's feelings and memoirs about his son come in the middle of a political conflict, to which he's dragged and in which his son might have been involved....
Waiting for the barbarians
The Magistrate lives peacefully in a garrison of the Empire located in the frontier of a country (South Africa is never mentioned, though suggested), which from time to time has been attacked by barbarians. The arrival of a general from the big city, however, brings horror to the town, dragging in barbarians to be tortured and reveal plots against the Empire. Soon after, the Magistrate feels attracted to one of the barbarian women. She's been left ...
Youth
In this second volume of memoirs (the first being 'Boyhood'), John is a Math and English student in Capetown, hoping to flee the country (which is in a political storm) and become a poet. He does so, arriving in London, and he doesn't feel the place is right, or the people living in it: he knows he's got talent for writing though no one seems to notice the 'sacred fire' lying within him, and he starts to suspect if poetry is what he's destined to write. ...


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