The irony does not escape him: that the one who comes to teach learns the keenest of lessons, while those who come to learn learn nothing.
J. M. Coetzee’s Booker Prize-winning novel Disgrace, set in post-apartheid South Africa, takes us into the disquieting mind of twice-divorced university teacher David Lurie as he loses his job and his honour after engaging in an ill-advised affair with a susceptible student.
When he retreats to his daughter’s farm, a brutal attack highlights their fractured relationship. Is it only through intense suffering and shame—his own as well as that of others—that David can begin to change, to understand his country and what it means to be human?
In Disgrace, this Nobel-Prize winning writer examines ideas of evil, violence, dignity and redemption in a country dominated by the power dynamics of race.
J.M. Coetzee was the first author to win the Booker Prize twice and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003. He lives in Adelaide.
‘Coetzee captures with appalling skill the white dilemma in South Africa.’ Daily Telegraph
‘Disgrace explores the furthest reaches of what it means to be human; it is at the frontier of world literature.’ Sunday Telegraph
‘A great novel by one of the finest authors writing in the English language today.’ The Times
‘A masterpiece...perhaps the best novel to carry off the Booker in a decade.’ Independent
‘Disgrace is the best novel Coetzee has written.’ London Review of Books