Scenes From Provincial Life
Nobel Prize for Literature: Winner 2003
Coetzee grew up in a new development north of Cape Town, tormented by guilt and fear. With a father he despised, and a mother he both adored and resented, he led a double life—the brilliant and well-behaved student at school, the princely despot at home, always terrified of losing his mother's love. His first encounters with literature, the awakenings of sexual desire, and a growing awareness of apartheid left him with baffling questions; and only in his love of the high veld ("farms are places of freedom, of life") could he find a sense of belonging. Bold and telling, this masterly evocation of a young boy's life is the book Coetzee's many admirers have been waiting for, but never could have expected.
Fiercely revealing, bluntly unsentimental. . .a telling portrait of the artist as a young man that illuminates the hidden source of his art." —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"Exceptional...a scorched tale of race, caste, shame, and—at times—hilarious bewilderment." —The New Yorker
"Tremendously readable and powerful...a masterfully told, spare and accessible memoir." —The Boston Globe
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