J.M. Coetzee: A Life in Writing
J. M. Coetzee is a significant author (two Booker prizes and a Nobel) but even so the extent of the Coetzee ‘industry’ (writings about the writer and his work) defies belief. This long biography is only the latest of several books about him, not to mention about 500 M.A. and doctoral dissertations, and Coetzee is still alive. He has outlived his biographer, for Kannemeyer, a professor of Afrikaans, died before his work could be published or translated into English. Coetzee has had an interesting life in South Africa, England, America and Australia, but this biography is best as a critical analysis of his novels and how they were written. He was (is?) a compulsive reviser who kept all his earlier drafts, up to a dozen or more for each book, enabling Kannemeyer to follow the evolution of the text as Coetzee honed it to his liking.