J.M. Coetzee

Sue Kossew reviews 'The Schooldays of Jesus' by J.M. Coetzee

Sue Kossew

In order to grasp the complexity of allusions in J.M. Coetzee's new novel, The Schooldays of Jesus, you need to have your wits about you. On the other hand, as with its prequel ...

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J.M. Coetzee reviews 'The Modernist Papers' by Frederic Jameson

J.M. Coetzee

Though by profession a scholar of literature with a specialism in French literature, Fredric Jameson (born 1934) has made his mark as a cultural historian and even as what used to be called an historian of ideas. His chef d'oeuvre, Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (1991), provides one of the more persuasive cognitive maps we have of ... More

James Ley reviews 'J.M. Coetzee and the Life of Writing' by David Attwell

James Ley

Few, if any, contemporary authors have attracted the level of critical attention that is lavished upon J.M. Coetzee. No doubt there are many reasons for this, but a good part of the fascination with his fiction is a result of the evident rigour with which it is conceived. To read a Coetzee novel is to encounter a work that seems to have ... More

Coetzee Colloquium

Shannon Burns

Few authors summon the various modes of irony to better purpose than J.M. Coetzee. Typically, before Coetzee gives a reading, the audience can safely suppose that they are in for a good laugh, the odd squirm and cringe, and at least one moment of bewilderment. But there are exceptions to this general rule, and the several hundred people who gathered to hear Coetzee ... More

Shannon Burns reviews 'Three Stories' by J.M. Coetzee

Shannon Burns

Each fiction in this small but handsome volume emerges from an interesting, perhaps even ‘transitional’ phase in J.M. Coetzee’s writing life: between the publication of Disgrace (1999) and Slow Man (2005); before and after receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003. The first story in the collection also predates Coetzee’s move to Adelaid ... More

Miriam Cosic reviews two letter collections of famous writers

Miriam Cosic

The recent publication of Willa Cather’s letters caused a stir in the United States. The American author, surprisingly underrated here, had explicitly and repeatedly said she did not want her letters made public. Some believe her wishes should be respected; others say the demands of history are greater than those of a long-dead individual.

This, of c ... More

Morag Fraser on J.M. Coetzee's 'The Childhood of Jesus'

Morag Fraser

‘What is chaos?’ asks the unnerving child at the centre of J.M. Coetzee’s new parable-novel, The Childhood of Jesus. ‘I told you the other day,’ replies the child’s guardian. ‘Chaos is when there is no order, no laws to hold on to. Chaos is just things whirling around.’

Louise Erdrich’s The Round House begins with ... More

Alex O'Brien on 'The 2013 Voiceless Anthology'

Alex O'Brien

‘Death has a dual character,’ Zadie Smith writes in her novel The Autograph Man (2002); ‘it seems to be everywhere and nowhere at the same time’. Popular culture is currently awash with cookery programs and diet fads, yet the lives of animals, and the industries that deal in their deaths, have never been more absent from city life. It seems reas ... More

Gillian Dooley on 'J.M. Coetzee: A Life in Writing'

Gillian Dooley

When I heard that someone was writing Coetzee’s biography, I thought he must be either brave or foolish. After all, Coetzee’s own approach to autobiography is slippery, to say the least. J.C. Kannemeyer was (he died suddenly on Christmas Day 2011) a South African professor of Afrikaans and Dutch, a veteran biographer, and a literary historian. Coetzee co-operate ... More