Bioibliographical notes

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Bioibliographical notes

John Maxwell Coetzee was born in 1940 in Cape Town in South Africa. His background is both German and English. His parents sent him to an English school and he grew up using English as his first language. At the beginning of the 1960s he moved to England where he worked initially as a computer programmer. He then studied literature in the USA and went on to teach literature and English at the State University of New York at Buffalo up until 1983. In 1984 he became Professor of English Literature at the University of Cape Town. In 2002 he moved to Australia, where he is attached to the University of Adelaide.

Coetzee made his debut as a writer of fiction in 1974. His international breakthrough came in 1980 with the novel Waiting for the Barbarians. He was awarded the Booker Prize in the United Kingdom for Life and Times of Michael K, 1983.

After “updating” Robinson Crusoe in the novel Foe, 1986, Coetzee returned to South Africa with Age of Iron, 1990.

In 1999 Coetzee became the first author to be twice awarded the Booker Prize, now for his novel Disgrace, in which the plot, as in In the Heart of the Country, 1977, mainly takes place on a remote farm in South Africa.

A fundamental theme in Coetzee’ s novels involves the values and conduct resulting from South Africa’s apartheid system, which, in his view, could arise anywhere.

Coetzee has also published translations and acted as a literary critic for the New York Review of Books for instance. Coetzee ‘s literary criticism has been published in essay form in journals such as Comparative Literature, the Journal of Literary Semantics and the Journal of Modern Literature and collections have been issued as White Writing, 1998, Doubling the Point, 1992, Giving Offense : Essays on Censorship, 1996, and Stranger Shores : Essays 1986-1999, 2001.

Coetzee’s latest work Elizabeth Costello : Eight Lessons, 2003, is a mixture of essay and fiction, and some sections have already been included in other published works such as What is Realism? and The Lives of Animals.

Works in English
Dusklands : [two novellas]. – Johannesburg : Ravan Press, 1974. – Contents: The Vietnam project ; The Narrative of Jacobus Coetzee
In the Heart of the Country : [novel]. – London : Secker & Warburg, 1977. – Published in the USA as From the Heart of the Country
Waiting for the Barbarians : [novel]. – London : Secker & Warburg, 1980
Life and Times of Michael K : [novel]. – London : Secker & Warburg, 1983
Foe : [novel]. – London : Secker & Warburg, 1986
White Writing : on the Culture of Letters in South Africa. – New Haven : Yale Univ. Press, 1988
Age of Iron : [novel]. – London : Secker & Warburg, 1990
Doubling the Point : Essays and Interviews. – Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard Univ. Press, 1992
The Master of Petersburg : [novel]. – London : Secker & Warburg, 1994
Giving Offense : Essays on Censorship. – Chicago : Univ. of Chicago Press, 1996
Boyhood : Scenes from Provincial Life. – London : Secker & Warburg, 1997
What is Realism? – Bennington, Vt. : Bennington College, 1997
Disgrace : [novel]. – London : Secker & Warburg, 1999
The Lives of Animals / edited and introduced by Amy Gutmann. – Princeton : Princeton Univ. Press, 1999
The Humanities in Africa = Die Geisteswissenschaften in Afrika. – München : Carl Friedrich von Siemens-Stiftung, 2001
Stranger Shores : Essays, 1986–1999. – London : Secker & Warburg, 2001
Youth. – London : Secker & Warburg, 2002
Elizabeth Costello : Eight Lessons. – London : Secker & Warburg, 2003
Lecture and Speech of Acceptance, upon the Award of the Nobel Prize, Delivered in Stockholm in December 2003. – New York : Penguin Books, 2004.*
Slow Man : [novel]. – Secker & Warburg, 2005 (sept.) *
Œuvres en français
Au cœur de ce pays : roman / traduit de l’anglais par Sophie Mayoux. – Paris : M. Nadeau : Papyrus, 1977. – Traduction de: In the Heart of the Country; Aussi paru 1985 sous le titre Dust
En attendant les barbares : roman / traduit de l’anglais par Sophie Mayoux. – Paris : M. Nadeau : Papyrus, 1982. – Traduction de: Waiting for the Barbarians
Michael K, sa vie, son temps : roman / traduit de l’anglais par Sophie Mayoux. – Paris: Seuil, 1985. – Traduction de: Life and Times of Michael K
Terres de crépuscule : nouvelles / [traduit de l’anglais]. – Paris : Seuil, 1987. – Traduction de: Dusklands
Foe : roman / traduit de l’anglais par Sophie Mayoux. – Paris : Seuil, 1988. – Traduction de: Foe
L’âge de fer : roman / traduit de l’anglais par Sophie Mayoux. – Paris : Seuil, 1992. – Traduction de: Age of Iron
Le maître de Pétersbourg : roman / traduit de l’anglais par Sophie Mayoux. – Paris : Seuil, 1995. – Traduction de: The Master of Petersburg
Scènes de la vie d’un jeune garçon : récit / traduit de l’anglais, Afrique du Sud, par Catherine Glenn-Lauga. –
Paris : Seuil, 1999. – Traduction de: Boyhood : Scenes from Provincial Life
Disgrâce : roman / traduit de l’anglais, Afrique du Sud, par Catherine Lauga Du Plessis. – Paris : Seuil, 2001. – Traduction de: Disgrace
Vers l’âge d’homme / traduit de l’anglais, Afrique du Sud, par Catherine Lauga Du Plessis. – Paris : Seuil, 2003. – Traduction de: Youth
Elizabeth Costello : huit leçons / trad. de l’anglais (Afrique du Sud) par Catherine Lauga du Plessis. – Paris : Seuil, 2004. – Traduction de: Youth: Elizabeth Costello*
Verk på svenska
I väntan på barbarerna : [roman] / översättning: Thomas Preis ; förord av Per Wästberg. – Stockholm : Bromberg, 1982. – Originaltitel: Waiting for the Barbarians
Historien om Michael K : [roman] / översättning: Thomas Preis. – Stockholm : Bromberg, 1984. – Originaltitel: Life and Times of Michael K
Mr Foe : [roman] / översättning: Thomas Preis. – Stockholm : Bromberg, 1989. – Originaltitel: Foe
Järnålder : [roman] / översättning: Thomas Preis. – Stockholm : Bromberg, 1990. – Originaltitel: Age of Iron
Mästaren från Sankt Petersburg : [roman] / översättning: Thomas Preis. – Stockholm : Bromberg, 1995. – Originaltitel: The Master of Petersburg
Onåd : [roman] / översättning: Thomas Preis. – Stockholm : Bromberg, 2000. – Originaltitel: Disgrace
Pojkår : scener ur ett liv i provinsen / översättning: Thomas Preis. – Stockholm : Bromberg, 2001. – Originaltitel: Boyhood
Djurens liv / J. M. Coetzee ; Marjorie Garber … ; utgiven och introducerad av Amy Gutmann ; svensk översättning: Lisa Gålmark. – Nora : Nya Doxa, 2001. – Originaltitel: The Lives of Animals
Ungdomsår : scener ur ett liv i provinsen: 2 / översättning: Thomas Preis. – Stockholm : Bromberg, 2002. – Originaltitel: Youth
Elizabeth Costello / översättning: Thomas Preis. – Stockholm : Bromberg, 2003. – Originaltitel: Elizabeth Costello
Främmande stränder : texter om litteratur / översättning: Jim Jakobsson. – Nora : Nya Doxa, 2004*
I hjärtat av landet / översättning: Thomas Preis.– Stockholm : Bromberg, 2004. – Originaltitel: In the heart of the country*
Skymningsmarker / översättning: Thomas Preis. – Stockholm : Bromberg, 2004. – Originaltitel: Dusklands*
Werke auf deutsch
Warten auf die Barbaren : [Roman] / aus dem Engl. von Brigitte Weidmann. – Berlin : Henssel, 1984. – Orig.: Waiting for the Barbarians
Leben und Zeit des Michael K : [Roman] / aus dem Engl. von Wulf Teichmann. – München : Hanser, 1986. – Orig.: Life and Times of Michael K
Im Herzen des Landes : [Roman] / aus dem Engl. von Wulf Teichmann. – München : Hanser, 1987. – Orig.: In the Heart of the Country
Mr. Cruso, Mrs. Barton und Mr. Foe : [Roman] / aus dem Engl. von Wulf Teichmann. – München : Hanser, 1990. – Orig.: Foe
Eiserne Zeit : [Roman] / aus dem Engl. von Wulf Teichmann. – Frankfurt am Main : Fischer, 1995. – Orig.: Age of Iron
Der Meister von Petersburg : [Roman] / aus dem Engl. von Wolfgang Krege. – Frankfurt am Main : Fischer, 1996. – Orig.: The Master of Petersburg
Der Junge : eine afrikanische Kindheit / aus dem Engl. von Reinhild Böhnke. – Frankfurt am Main : Fischer, 1998. – Orig.: Boyhood
Schande : [Roman] / aus dem Engl. von Reinhild Böhnke. – Frankfurt am Main : Fischer, 2000. – Orig.: Disgrace
Das Leben der Tiere / aus dem Engl. von Reinhild Böhnke. – Frankfurt am Main : Fischer, 2000. – Orig.: The Lives of Animals
Warten auf die Barbaren : [Roman] / aus dem Engl. von Reinhild Böhnke. – Frankfurt am Main : Fischer, 2001. – Orig.: Waiting for the Barbarians
The Humanities in Africa = Die Geisteswissenschaften in Afrika. – München : Carl Friedrich von Siemens-Stiftung, 2001
Die jungen Jahre / aus dem Engl. von Reinhild Böhnke. – Frankfurt am Main : Fischer, 2002. – Orig.: Youth
Elizabeth Costello : acht Lehrstücke / Aus dem Engl. von Reinhild Böhnke. – Frankfurt am Main : Fischer. – Orig.: Elizabeth Costello*
Literature
Attridge, Derek, J. M. Coetzee & the Ethics of Reading : Literature in the Event. – Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2004*
Dovey, Teresa, The Novels of J.M. Coetzee : Lacanian Allegories. – Cape Town : Donker, 1988
Penner, Allen Richard, Countries of the Mind : the Fiction of J.M. Coetzee. – New York : Greenwood Press, 1989
Gallagher, Susan VanZanten, A Story of South Africa : J.M. Coetzee’s Fiction in Context. – Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard Univ. Press, 1991
Attwell, David, J.M. Coetzee : South Africa and the Politics of Writing. – Berkeley : Univ. of California Press, 1993
Critical Perspectives on J.M. Coetzee / edited by Graham Huggan and Stephen Watson. – Basingstoke : Macmillan, 1996
Kossew, Sue, Pen and Power : a Post-Colonial Reading of J.M. Coetzee and André Brink. – Amsterdam : Rodopi, 1996
Head, Dominic, J.M. Coetzee. – Cambridge : Cambridge Univ. Press, 1997
Critical Essays on J.M. Coetzee / edited by Sue Kossew. – New York : G.K. Hall, 1998
Helgesson, Stefan, Sports of Culture : Writing the Resistant Subject in South Africa (Readings of Ndebele, Gordimer, Coetzee). – Uppsala : Dept. of Literature [Litteraturvetenskapliga institutionen], Univ., 1999
Viola, André, J.M. Coetzee : romancier sud-africain. – Paris : Harmattan, 1999
Attridge, Derek, J. M. Coetzee & the Ethics of Reading : Literature in the Event. – Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2004*

The Swedish Academy


* Updated in 2005.

To cite this section
MLA style: Bioibliographical notes. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2023. Sun. 5 Feb 2023. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/literature/2003/bio-bibliography/>

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