Synopses & Reviews
"Though he fails to make his intense and awkward personality particularly appealing, Coetzee succeeds in defining the dilemma of the artist-as-a-young-man in sympathetic if angst-ridden terms that reflect the doubts of those who decide to devote their lives to literature without any idea of how they can make a meaningful contribution." Publishers Weekly
"[T]his wry, honest, edgy memoir is the portrait of the young artist as a failure....The ordinary speaking voice and the rhythm of the sentences capture perfectly how he knows he's making a mess of everything, but how, maybe, that will make him a better poet." Booklist, starred review
"D.H. Lawrence meets Alan Paton in Coetzee's sometimes brilliant, sometimes tedious account of his sexual exploits, revolutionary fervor, and artistic evolution." Library Journal
"A fine portrait of the artist as a young drudge." Kirkus Reviews
Set against the background of the 1960s--Sharpeville, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Vietnam--"Youth" is a remarkable memoir of an artistic and sexual coming of age by the Booker Prize-winning author of "Disgrace."
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 Africas 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 Britains prestigious Booker Prize for Disgrace, becoming the first author to win the award twice in its 31-year history.