Summertime: Scenes from provincial life
Knopf, $39.95 hb, 266 pp
Over the course of his long and distinguished career, J.M. Coetzee has written fiction in an array of modes and genres. His books include works of historical and epistolary fiction, realism, allegory and metafiction. He has written novels that have developed complex and evocative intertextual relationships with some of his most significant literary influences – Daniel Defoe, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Franz Kafka – and, in his recent writing, he has experimented with prose that is frankly discursive to the point of didacticism, using a fictional framework to problematise and interrogate statements that, given a different context, could be read as straightforward declarations of belief.