Currently Reading: Disgrace

J.M. Coetzee was a big part of my senior year of college.  We read two of his novels for my Metafiction class, and then I read one or two more on my own.  He's kind of a genius.

His novels aren't easy and they tend not to be pleasant.  This one was no exception.

David Lurie, a middle-aged professor with two divorces under his belt, becomes enamored of one of his students and beds her.  This tryst goes on for a short amount of time, until the girl and her parents report him to the University.  

After a cringe-inducing peer trial, Lurie loses his job, his tenure, and his pension.  This leads him to leave Cape Town and head off to the country farm where his somewhat estranged daughter lives.  This abrupt change in location and lifestyle only leads to more disaster and yes, disgrace.

Coetzee's strength and confidence in language cannot be denied, but he doesn't make it easy for the reader.  This novel is complex and difficult, but I found it to be worth it at the end.  I think.  The novel is brilliant, but in an impossible way.

Not for the faint of heart (in terms of topic and difficulty), but if you feel up for it, give it a shot.


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