Coetzee, J(ohn) M(ichael)

Coetzee, J(ohn) M(ichael)

biographical name

(born Feb. 9, 1940, Cape Town, S.Af.) South African novelist. Coetzee taught English at the University of Cape Town, translated works from the Dutch, and wrote literary criticism before publishing his first book, Dusklands (1974). He won international fame with In the Heart of the Country (1977) and Waiting for the Barbarians (1980), in which he attacked the legacy of colonialism; they were followed by The Life and Times of Michael K (1983, Booker Prize), which concerns a man of limited intelligence caught in a civil war; Foe (1986), a twist on Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe; the autobiographical Boyhood (1997); and others. Among his nonfiction works are Giving Offense: Essays on Censorship (1996) and The Lives of Animals (1999). In 1999 he became the first writer to win the Booker Prize twice when he received the award for his novel Disgrace (1999). In 2003 Coetzee won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

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