J. M. Coetzee

Dominic Head (University of Nottingham); Revised By: Susan Kossew (Monash University)
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J. M. Coetzee was born in Cape Town in February 1940, and grew up in the vast desert and semi-desert area of the Cape province known as the Karoo. His parents were professional people (his father was a lawyer; his mother a schoolteacher), and his family spoke English at home, though with other relatives he conversed in Afrikaans. He studied English and Mathematics at the University of Cape Town, graduating in 1961, and in 1962 he left for England where he worked as a computer programmer for four years. During this time, he wrote a thesis on Ford Madox Ford for an MA which was awarded by the University of Cape Town in 1963.

In 1965 Coetzee moved to the University of Texas at Austin to write a doctoral dissertation on the style of Samuel Beckett’s fiction (completed in 1969), and then

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Citation: Head, Dominic, Susan Kossew. "J. M. Coetzee". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 28 October 2000; last revised 27 February 2019. [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=934, accessed 16 July 2024.]

934 J. M. Coetzee 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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