Summertime The third entry in J. M. Coetzee’s series of fictionalized memoirs stretches the distance between author and subject, even though they are the same man.… Summertime The third entry in J. M. Coetzee’s series of fictionalized memoirs stretches the distance between author and subject, even though they are the same man.… 2009-12-24 Biography Fiction Viking
Book Review

Summertime (2009)

J.M. Coetzee, Summertime | Summertime by J. M. Coetzee
Summertime by J. M. Coetzee
EW's GRADE
A+

Details Release Date: Dec 24, 2009; Writer: J.M. Coetzee; Genres: Biography, Fiction; Publisher: Viking

The third entry in J. M. Coetzee’s series of fictionalized memoirs stretches the distance between author and subject, even though they are the same man. The book is written as a succession of invented postmortem interviews with people who knew the author as a young novelist in South Africa. Summertime is navel-gazing founded on the daydream of imagined death — yet it’s still immensely readable, and the structural affectation is outweighed by the voices of the eulogizers. Coetzee portrays his younger self as scrawny and pretentious, but even if this insistent humility is just another form of self-aggrandizement, the result is enthralling. A–

See all of this week's reviews

Originally posted Dec 30, 2009 Published in issue #1084 Jan 08, 2010 Order article reprints
Advertisement

From Our Partners