The Childhood of Jesus

JM Coetzee’s The Childhood of Jesus is a cryptic tale set in Novilla, a city populated by people who have accepted the chance to live. Upon arrival residents are given new names and washed of their memories. Life is sustained on an appetite of asceticism; and hunger, like desires and impulse, is regarded as “a dog in…

Summertime: Scenes From Provincial Life

It is 2007, and John Coetzee is dead. An Englishman, Mr Vincent, is working on his posthumous biography, unauthorised. Having never met Coetzee himself, the biographer has made arrangements to speak with five people who knew his subject personally: some intimately, some professionally, or both. Summertime is the third volume in the trilogy of what has been promulgated as Coetzee’s…

Youth: Scenes from Provincial Life

A youth memoir from JM Coetzee was never going to be a heady account soaked in rock ‘n roll ecstasy or soused in exuberant joy. The 2003 Nobel Laureate and twice winner of the Man Booker Prize is renown for his reclusion and dark saturnine narratives that could arguably have only been borne out of deep introspection and misery. The first…

Boyhood: Scenes From Provincial Life

JM Coetzee — born in 1940, in Cape Town, South Africa — won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003 and was twice awarded the Booker Prize: for Life and Times of Michael K in 1983 and Disgrace in 1999. His Boyhood: Scenes From Provincial Life offers a precious insight into the inner universe of the fiercely…