Wednesday, March 17, 2010

SUMMERTIME by J.M. Coetzee (2009)

The South African Nobel Laureate ( and novelist most famous for Disgrace) has written a gem of a book in his third installment of his fictional memoir.

Summertime finds a young British biographer working on a book about John Coetzee focusing on the years between 1972-1977 when the not yet world-famous writer was sharing a run-down home in Cape Town with his widowed father.

The book consists of a series of interviews given in the recent past (2007-2009) with some of the women in Coetzee's life including relatives and lovers. What is especially engaging to me is the remarkable emotional objectivity with which he describes himself in third person through these female perspectives. It feels almost like a very clever extended inside joke.

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