Alice Meloy's Reviews > Summertime

Summertime by J.M. Coetzee
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's review
Oct 05, 2009

really liked it

This is Coetzee writing a novel about himself. The premise is that a biographer records his interviews with five people who were involved in some way with Coetzee in the 1970s. The transcripts and additional notes give an at times unflattering picture of the novelist in his 30s, but suggest a credible life story of a young man as he was beginning his career as a novelist in South Africa. Coetzee draws South Africans and other with sometimes harsh but very real brush strokes. His protagonist can make the reader a bit uncomfortable, but that's vintage Coetzee. This fictionalized account of his own life reveals a very real angst that intellecutal Afrikaaners must have felt in the waning days of apartheid amid the upheavels their country faced. Recommended.

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