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J.M. Coetzee Books In Order

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Publication Order of Jesus Trilogy Books

The Childhood of Jesus (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Schooldays of Jesus (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Death of Jesus (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Scenes from Provincial Life Books

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

In the Heart of the Country (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lives of Animals (With: Peter Singer) (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
Waiting for the Barbarians (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Life and Times of Michael K (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Foe (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Age Of Iron (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Master of Petersburg (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Disgrace (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Elizabeth Costello (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Slow Man (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Diary of a Bad Year (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Pole (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

White Writing (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Doubling the Point (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Giving Offense (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Stranger Shores (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Nobel Lecture in Literature, 2003 (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Inner Workings (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Here and Now (With: Paul Auster) (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Good Story (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Late Essays (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
J.M. Coetzee - Photographs from Boyhood (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Granta 58: Ambition(1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Gods and Soldiers(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cape Town Calling(2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best Australian Essays: A Ten-Year Collection(2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best Australian Essays 2014(2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Afflict the Comfortable(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best Australian Essays 2016(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best Australian Essays 2017(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Writers: Their Lives and Works(2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

J.M. Coetzee is considered by many to be one of the most celebrated living authors in the world. A South African novelist who migrated to and acquired Australian citizenship, Coetzee’s many awards and accolades justify the hype that surrounds his name.


J.M. Coetzee was born in 1940 in Cape Town, South Africa to a primary school teacher of a mother and an attorney of a father. Coetzee remembers speaking a lot of English at home. It was his parents’ language of choice and it was the language that was most commonly spoken in their household.

So it wasn’t a surprise when he became fluent in the language. Most of J.M. Coetzee’s early studies were pursued in Cape Town. He spent some time in the town of Worcester while in primary school but he eventually went back to Cape Town and stayed there even in secondary school, eventually enrolling in the University of Cape Town in 1957.

The author graduated with degrees in Mathematics and English. 1962 found Coetzee in England. This was after his University Studies. Coetzee was able to land jobs as a computer programmer.

It was around this time that the author married Philippa Jubber, the union producing Nicolas and Gisela in 1966 and 1968 respectively—Nicolas died in 1989.

With his family life coming together, Coetzee decided to inject even more of his efforts into his studies. He eventually acquired a Ph.D. in English, Linguistics and Germanic languages from the University of Texas (Austin).

He went into teaching afterward, snagging a position at the State University of New York (Buffalo) as an assistant professor. Coetzee did not keep the position for long. He tried and failed to get permanent residence in the U.S. and that compelled him to go back to South Africa.

It is generally assumed that Coetzee’s involvement in anti-Vietnam War activities tarnished his application for permanent residence in the United States. Prior to his return to South Africa, Coetzee was one of 45 University of Hayes faculty members that were arrested for criminal trespass.

Coetzee continued to teach, not only in South Africa (University of Cape Town) but also in the United States at institutions like Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University.

Writing had come into the picture much earlier. In fact, the author’s first fictional novel (In the Heart of the Country) was published in 1974 in South Africa and won J.M. Coetzee a lot of accolades and recognition.

J.M. Coetzee has won the Booker Prize twice, the first author to achieve this feat. He was even a favorite to win a third Booker Prize in 2009 but he lost out to Hilary Mantel. Not that Coetzee is weeping over the loss.

Besides Booker Prizes, Coetzee also has a Nobel Prize in Literature, this along with honorary doctorates from institutions like ‘The American University of Paris’ and ‘The University of Adelaide’.

Despite his renown amongst literature enthusiasts, Coetzee has always maintained a very low profile. His reclusive lifestyle has generated many rumors and myths surrounding his person.

Few people have had the opportunity to penetrate Coetzee’s private life, and if they have, they chose to not spill any beans to the public. Not that the author’s image has suffered as a result.

Coetzee always attracted public interest and scrutiny because of his strong stance against Apartheid. In fact, Coetzee was heavily involved in the anti-Apartheid movement of his day and that earned him international fame and admiration.

His outspoken attitude to prevailing political and social issues has been known to generate criticism. For instance, when J.M. Coetzee became an Australian citizen in 2006, he drew the ire of Thabo Mbeki for exalting the merits of Australia and Adelaide, in particular, while simultaneously dismissing South Africa as a crime-ridden society with which he had grown disillusioned.

Interestingly enough, Coetzee has always steered clear of political talk. Besides his opposition to Apartheid, Coetzee always speaks about politics with such care that most people have been unable to pin his political leanings.


J.M. Coetzee has seen four of his works receive film and television adaptations, namely: Dust, Disgrace, The Lives of Animals, and De Muzel.


David Lurie believes he’s a satisfied man. He isn’t necessarily happy but Lurie couldn’t complain about any one aspect of his life. A Communications and Romantic Poetry Professor at Cape Technical University, Lurie is 52-years-old.

He’s been married and divorced twice. His job allows him to meet his financial needs, and a reduction in his position at the university hasn’t stopped him from teaching his students to the best of his abilities.

Lurie knows he isn’t especially attractive, not at his age, but he doesn’t have to be to have his sexual needs. Weekly visits to a prostitute take care of that. All in all, Lurie’s life might be passionless but it is better than most and definitely comfortable.

When Lurie seduces one of his students, he has no idea just how drastically his life will change, or the disgrace he will invite into his existence.

This book takes place in post-apartheid South Africa. David Lure is a professor that doesn’t know how to adapt to the changing social landscape of his nation and his university.

J.M. Coetzee chronicles his fall from grace. This is after he digs into Lure’s resigned and sarcastic existence and reveals that the 52-year-old has nothing to live for and he doesn’t know what to do with himself as a result.

+Life and Times of Michael K

This book explores the human condition through the life of Michael K who just wants to get his mother back to her rural home in a South Africa that is groaning under the pressure of Civil War.

When she dies, she leaves Michael alone and isolated in a world with little mercy and far too much violence. Michael is imprisoned but he escapes and begins the fight to attain dignity.

This book starts with Michael, J.M. Coetzee’s protagonist trying to carve out a living at a park in Cape Town where he lives and works. When his mother gets sick, he tries to take her back to her rural home.

There’s a civil war taking place in South Africa. Coetzee doesn’t delve into the details of the conflict except to say that Michael doesn’t want any part of it. When his mother dies, Michael K finds himself alone for the first time.

Book Series In Order » Authors » J.M. Coetzee

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