Scenes from Provincial Life

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9780099555674: Scenes from Provincial Life

In a small town in the South Africa of the 1940s, a young boy is ill at ease with his father and stifled by his mother's unconditional love. At school he passes every test that is set for him, but he remains wary of his fellow pupils, especially the rough Afrikaners. Later, as a student in Cape Town he readies himself to escape to Europe but once in London, the reality is dispiriting: he toils as a computer programmer, inhabits a series of damp, dreary flats and is haunted by loneliness and boredom. Decades later, an English biographer researches a book about the late John Coetzee, interviewees describe an awkward man still living with his father. His family regard him with suspicion and he is dogged by rumours.

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"Described with such skill, such exactitude and such relentlessness that I found myself gasping for air... Coetzee has achieved something universal in his work... A fine book, probably the best description of a childhood I have ever read" ( The Times (on Boyhood))

"A memorable picture of the harshness London can offer to incomers... Youth is a wonderful book: a portrait of the artist as a young man, to rank with any in the canon" ( Evening Standard (on Youth))

"This is the third instalment of a life so reserved, so repressed, so seething with polite rage and restrained despair that it could only be approached through a third-person is wonderful stuff" ( Irish Times (on Summertime))

"The publication of Coetzee's trilogy of fictionalised memoir - Boyhood, Youth and Summertime - in one handsome volume highlights the uneasy relationship between the reality of his life and the fiction of his books" (Alex Preston New Statesman)

Book Description:

For the first time in one volume, J. M. Coetzee's majestic trilogy of fictionalised memoir, Boyhood, Youth and Summertime.

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