Life & Times of Michael K

Front Cover
Secker & Warburg, 1983 - Gardeners - 249 pages
Coetzee here tells the story of a handicapped young man who has worked as a municipal gardener in Cape Town. His mother is dying, and she wishes to return to her birthplace out in the veldt. Without the required transit passes, mother and son set out on a journey that will end in death for her and in a new but temporary life on an abandoned farm for him. His respite in isolation and peace does not last long, however; grotesque reality soon returns to trouble this quiet new world. Against the solitude of this private drama, Coetzee paints an eloquent and pained picture of his homeland and of the bureaucrats, doctors, army deserters, and camp guards who reveal the stress and qualms of their existence and who uneasily sense that there is no conclusion to their troubles and no future for their lives.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jonfaith - www.librarything.com

Michael K was a crushing exploration of humanity, bedraggled with misfortune and fear, yet transcendent. This was a meditation on silences. there is a measure of hiding and deception, but the novels ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - sprainedbrain - www.librarything.com

A difficult book to read and review. K's story is heartbreaking and miserable, and I found myself both feeling sorry for him and being repulsed by him. The book was unsettling in that it made me think ... Read full review

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Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
177
Section 3
178
Copyright

6 other sections not shown

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About the author (1983)

J.M. Coetzee's full name is John Michael Coetzee. Born in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1940, Coetzee is a writer and critic who uses the political situation in his homeland as a backdrop for many of his novels. Coetzee published his first work of fiction, Dusklands, in 1974. Another book, Boyhood, loosely chronicles an unhappy time in Coetzee's childhood when his family moved from Cape Town to the more remote and unenlightened city of Worcester. Other Coetzee novels are In the Heart of the Country and Waiting for the Barbarians. Coetzee's critical works include White Writing and Giving Offense: Essays on Censorship. Coetzee is a two-time recipient of the Booker Prize and in 2003, he won the Nobel Literature Award.

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