On J. M. Coetzee by Ceridwen Dovey
03 Oct 2018
For Ceridwen Dovey, J.M. Coetzee ‘has always been there, an unseen but strongly felt presence in our small family drama’. As a child, she observed with fascination her mother’s immersion in Coetzee’s writing as she worked on what would become the first critical study of his early novels.
Even now, as a writer herself, Ceridwen’s relationship with Coetzee’s books is still mediated by her mother’s readings of them: to get to him, she must first step through her mother’s formidable mind. With tenderness and insight, Dovey draws on this personal history to explore the Nobel Prize-winner’s work – how his books ‘do theory’ on themselves – while also tracing the intellectual heritage that has been passed from mother to daughter.’
In the Writers on Writers series, leading writers reflect on another Australian writer who has inspired and fascinated them. Provocative, crisp and written from a practitioner’s perspective, the series starts a fresh conversation between past and present, writer and reader. It sheds light on the craft of writing, and introduces some intriguing and talented authors and their work.
About the author:
Ceridwen Dovey was born in South Africa and grew up between South Africa and Australia. Her debut novel, Blood Kin, was published in fifteen countries and shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Award. Her second book, Only the Animals, won the inaugural 2014 Readings New Australian Writing Award, and her new novel, In the Garden of the Fugitives, was published earlier this year. She writes non-fiction regularly for newyorker.com and The Monthly, and lives in Sydney.
Publisher: Black Inc. in association with the University of Melbourne and State Library Victoria.
Release date: 1 October 2018