J. M. Coetzee's majestic trilogy of fictionalised memoir, Boyhood , Youth and Summertime .
Here, for the first time in one volume, is J. M. Coetzee's majestic trilogy of fictionalised memoir, Boyhood , Youth and Summertime .
Scenes from Provincial Life opens in a small town in the South Africa of the 1940s. We meet a young boy who, at home, is ill at ease with his father and stifled by his mother's unconditional love. At school he passes every test that is set for him, but he remains wary of his fellow pupils, especially the rough Afrikaners.
As a student of mathematics in Cape Town he readies himself to escape his homeland, travel to Europe and turn himself into an artist. Once in London, however, the reality is dispiriting: he toils as a computer programmer, inhabits a series of damp, dreary flats and is haunted by loneliness and boredom. He is a constitutional outsider. He fails to write.
Decades later, an English biographer researches a book about the late John Coetzee, particularly the period following his return to South Africa from America. Interviewees describe an awkward man still living with his father, a man who insists on performing dull manual labour. His family regard him with suspicion and he is dogged by rumours: that he crossed the authorities in America, that he writes poetry.
Scenes from Provincial Life is a heartbreaking and often very funny portrait of the artist by one of the world's greatest writers.
"The publication of Coetzee's trilogy of fictionalised memoir - Boyhood, Youth and Summertime - in one handsome volume highlights the uneasy relationship between the reality of his life and the fiction of his books." Alex Preston New Statesman
J.M. Coetzee, geboren 1940 in Kapstadt, stammt aus einer Afrikaaner-Familie, wurde jedoch englischsprachig erzogen. 1962 verließ er erstmals Südafrika, um bei IBM in Großbritannien als Programmierer zu arbeiten. 1965 zog er in die USA, wo er 1969 über Beckett promovierte. Er kehrte 1972 als Literaturprofessor nach Südafrika zurück. Der internationale Durchbruch gelang ihm 1980 mit "Waiting for the Barbarians". Er wurde für seine Romane mit zahlreichen Preisen ausgezeichnet, u.a. zweimal mit dem Booker Prize. 2003 erhielt Coetzee den Nobelpreis für Literatur.