Thursday, October 02, 2003

J.M. Coetzee

Literature nerds like me will note that J.M. Coetzee has won the 2003 Nobel Prize for Literature. Coetzee is a South African novelist and essayist whose works include Dusklands, a novel about someone developing a new technique of psychological warfare during the Vietnam War; Waiting for the Barbarians, which describes as "a political thriller in the style of Joseph Conrad," The Life and Times of Michael K, about an ordinary person driven by growing chaos and impending war to a state of indifference, and various other novels you can read about at the above link.

We still haven't had a Nobel winner whom I've read stuff by before their award. Since Coetzee is African, Chinua Achebe will probably not win for a few years, though Carlos Fuentes is a possibility, as is Mahmud Darweesh. I could add David Grossman and Murakami Haruki, but they're both relatively young. I think Ben Okri is, too, though for various reasons I didn't finish The Famished Road last summer, and so probably can't count it as something I've read.


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