J. M. Coetzee—winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, twice winner of the Man Booker Prize—is one of the world’s most celebrated and intriguing authors. Yet the heart of his fiction remains elusive.
In J. M. Coetzee and the Life of Writing, David Attwell explores the extraordinary creative processes behind Coetzee’s novels, from Dusklands to The Childhood of Jesus. Through a close examination of Coetzee’s manuscripts, notebooks and research papers, Attwell reveals the strong autobiographical thread that runs through his work, convincingly demonstrating that Coetzee’s writing proceeds with never-ending self-reflection.
A preeminent Coetzee scholar, Attwell offers fascinating insight into one of the most important and opaque literary figures of our time.
‘In a series of readings outstanding for their meticulousness, care and sensitivity, Attwell gives us a study of J. M. Coetzee in time, yet also, ultimately, beyond time, confirmed in his position as one of the great writers of the late twentieth century…With this book our understanding of this writer’s life’s work, as well as of the work of a life, especially, but not only, that of Coetzee, is transformed.’
‘An illuminating work of archival criticism.’
‘An important work of scholarship, and one of the most insightful studies of Coetzee and his oeuvre yet published.’