J.M Coetzee

has published sixteen works of fiction, as well as criticism and translations. Among awards he has won are the Booker Prize (twice) and, in 2003, the Nobel Prize for Literature.


About J.M Coetzee

J.M. Coetzee was born in South Africa in 1940 and educated in South Africa and the United States. He has published sixteen works of fiction, as well as criticism and translations. Among awards he has won are the Booker Prize (twice) and, in 2003, the Nobel Prize for Literature. He lives in Adelaide, South Australia. He has a strong interest in translation, having worked as a translator himself, and in the importance of dialogue and exchange between writers and critics from across the world, having long undertaken this process of ongoing dialogue. To this end he recently engaged with scholars and writers from Argentina in developing an initiative called The Literatures of the South, which links writers and critics from a number of regions, including South America, Southern Africa, and Australia.


Articles about J.M Coetzee

She and Her Man: Foe

There are many ways to read Foe (1986), which has a shifting choose-your-own-strange-and-surprising-adventure flavour to it; I’ve tried a few. My favourite is to reverse-engineer Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe from the perspective of the castaway Susan Barton’s account of her very different experience of Cruso in Coetzee’s novel. Putting the chronological cart before the horse (a method that owes something to Jorge Luis Borges’s deadpan comic masterpiece Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote), we realise that Robinson Crusoe would have been a much duller book (not that it is free of unabridged longueurs) if Defoe had not first read Coetzee’s Foe and fictionalised and glamourised Barton’s account of her largely adventure-free time marooned on the island, in order to create a more ripping yarn. 

Articles by J.M Coetzee