Synopses & Reviews
The first author ever to win the Booker Prize twice, J. M. Coetzee is, without question, one of the world's greatest novelists. Now his many admirers will have the pleasure of reading his significant body of literary criticism. This volume gathers together for the first time in book form, twenty-six pieces on books and writing, all but one previously published. Stranger Shores opens with "What is a Classic?" in which Coetzee explores the answer to his own question-"What does it mean in living terms to say that the classic is what survives?"-by way of T. S. Eliot, Johann Sebastian Bach and Zbigniew Herbert. His subjects range from the great eighteenth and nineteenth century writers Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson and Ivan Turgenev, to the great German modernists Rilke, Kafka, and Musil, to the giants of late twentieth century literature, among them Harry Mulisch, Joseph Brodsky, Jorge Luis Borges, Salman Rushdie, Amos Oz, Naguib Mahfouz, Nadine Gordimer, and Doris Lessing.
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.