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13 November 2006

(link to review) DISGRACE, J. M. Coetzee

After the Fall
--- NYTBR (Published: November 28, 1999)

Published: November 28, 1999

By J. M. Coetzee.
220 pp. New York:
Viking. $23.95.

Coetzee's prose has . . . an accessible ease that belies the slippery nature of his work as a whole. . . . Coetzee is spare . . . so determined to avoid a fiction based on what he has called ''the procedures of history'' as to chance his own irrelevance.

''Disgrace'' finishes quickly with the question of judgment; its real interest lies in what comes after, when all one's days are stamped with the word of its title. And the way the novel develops suggests that . . . Coetzee, despite his resistance to a historically conditioned realism, (has a) deeply political mind.

--- blogaulaire here: much of the rest of the Gorra review goes into a plot summary; try the link, where Gorra writes:

"There is much one could say about this brief but oddly expansive novel, about the range of concerns that Coetzee has woven seamlessly together."

Coetzee won an earlier Booker Prize for ''Life & Times of Michael K.'' Last month's award made him the only writer ever to win it twice. ''Disgrace'' surely deserves such recognition. But that may, in time, come to seem among the least of this extraordinary novel's distinctions.

*Michael Gorra teaches English at Smith College and is the author of ''After Empire: Scott, Naipaul, Rushdie.''

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