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September 27 , 2009

J. M. Coetzee and the Life of Writing

Face-to-face with Time


A moving, insightful biography of the Nobel Laureate and a study of J. M. Coetzee’s work, illuminating the creation of his exceptional novels
J. M. Coetzee is one of the world’s most intriguing authors. Compelling, razor-sharp, erudite: the adjectives pile up but the heart of the fiction remains elusive. Now, 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. Using Coetzee’s manuscripts, notebooks and research papers—recently deposited at the Harry Ransom Center of the University of Texas at Austin—Attwell produces a fascinating story. He shows convincingly that Coetzee’s work is strongly autobiographical, the memoirs being continuous with the fictions, and that his writing proceeds with never-ending self-reflection.
Having worked closely with him on Doubling the Point, a collection of Coetzee’s essays and interviews, and given early access to Coetzee’s archive, David Attwell is an engaging, authoritative source. The Life of Writing is a fresh, riveting take on one of the most important and opaque literary figures of our time. This moving account will change the way Coetzee is read, by teachers, critics, and general readers.

From the Hardcover edition.
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