Synopses & Reviews
In addition to being one of the most acclaimed and accomplished fiction writers in the world, Nobel Prize winner J. M. Coetzee is also a literary critic of the highest caliber. In this collection of twenty essays, Coetzee examines the work of some of the twentieth-centurys greatest writersfrom Samuel Beckett and Günter Grass to Gabriel García Márquez and Philip Roth. Brilliantly insightful, challenging yet accessible, these pieces demonstrate Coetzees sharp eye and unwavering critical acumen. Written with great clarity and precision, they offer a window into twenty immortal texts that will be of major interest to all readers of international literature, as well as to Coetzees many fans.
Coetzee explores the work of twentieth century German literature's greatest writers, an essay on Graham Greene's Brighton Rock and on the short fiction of Samuel Beckett. American literature is also strongly represented and Coetzee rounds off the collection with essays on three fellow Nobel laureates.
About the Author
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.