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Book Reviews

Disgrace – by J.M. Coetzee

J.M. Coetzee got the Nobel Prize in literature for writing his book Disgrace. It´s about 250 pages only, but the book is really superb! Coetzee is living in South Africa i believe, and the story is taking place there.

First UK edition cover

Image via Wikipedia

Disgrace is a story about a middle-aged university teacher named David, and also about his daughter Lucy. The story tells about their choices of life, not always easy to understand. David having a love affair with one of his students. When the management of the university gets to know, they want him to confess and show his remorse in public. David refuses. He quits his job, and sees all his friends turning their back on him. Then he moves to his daughters farm, to find himself some piece. But she lives in a neighborhood with a lot of colored people, and there are conflicts going on between white and colored people. And one day three men turns up and rapes Lucy. David asks his daughter to move, but she refuses. She chose to stay and keep on living in disgrace.

It was a couple of years ago I read this book, and I took some help from the back of it to write down its story, to be honest. I remember the story because it´s hard to forget, but not all the details. What caught me most was the stories main characters´ that were very close to each other – father and daughter – but with very different ways to manage their lives. He runs away from disgrace, she choses to stay and live with it. And as a reader I could follow the relation between the two of them. It was hard to let go of the book, but not always easy to stand reading it.

Discussion: How are you managing disgrace in you life? How are your characters managing disgrace? Is there any difference between how the characters in your story manages it, and how you do it? Why/why not? Have you read Disgrace? Why/why not? What was your impression of the book? What is the best book you ever read? Why? What are you reading now? What do you plan to read in the future? Who is your favorite author?

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About Magdalena Wiklund

Leg. biomedicinsk analytiker och maker. Arbetar med transfusionsmedicin till vardags, forskar på antibiotikaresistens på fritiden. Jag skapade Sveriges största site för biomedicinska analytiker därför att detta verkligen är ett fantastiskt yrke som jag hoppas att fler ska intressera sig för.


6 thoughts on “Disgrace – by J.M. Coetzee

  1. Hello, I am going to buy this book on amazon. I hope I can find it. I lived for 50 years, well almost in old South Africa and have my own stories to tell. Now living back in the UK, I was born in Ireland. But I never tire of reading about my old country, which still runs in my veins.
    I am going to check out your writings. Well done.

    Posted by liz2you | January 22, 2012, 3:31 pm
    • Hi liz2you,
      I´m happy that you liked my book review enough to dice yourself to buy the book. It is really good.
      How was life in South Africa? It would be really interesting to read your book about your own experiences.
      Thanks for passing by,

      Posted by Magdalena Wiklund | January 22, 2012, 3:35 pm
  2. One correction— Coetzee did not get the Nobel prize in literature for writing his book Disgrace, as you said. In fact, the Nobel prize for Literature is not given to specific books. It is a lifetime achievement award given to writers for their complete body of works. References to specific books in the award are meant as exemplars of excellence and not that the prize was given to those specific books.

    Posted by Raj | May 20, 2012, 10:23 am


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