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A broad range of stunning essays from Australia’s resident Nobel laureate.

Crossing J.M. Coetzee’s range of well-known writerly interests, including Beckett, with essays on Australian writers including Gerald Murnane, Patrick White and Les Murray.

The subjects covered range from Daniel Defoe in the early eighteenth century to Coetzee’s contemporary Philip Roth. Coetzee has had a long-standing interest in German literature and here he engages with the work of Goethe, Hölderlin, Kleist and Walser. There are four fascinating essays on fellow Nobel laureate Samuel Beckett. There are essays too on Tolstoy’s great novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich, on Flaubert’s masterpiece Madame Bovary, and on the Argentine modernist Antonio Di Benedetto.

J.M. Coetzee, a great novelist himself, is a wise and insightful guide to these works of international literature that span three centuries.

Reviews

To read Late Essays ... has the effect of watching someone look for the secret, difficult rub of creativity.

Anna Funder, The Sydney Morning Herald

In these essays, Coetzee is doing for the writers who came before him what I imagine he hopes will be done for him by the writers who will follow. He is gravedigging, with probity, with the greatest reverence for the craft they share, and in this way is saying thank you in the only way one writer can really say it to another, which is by writing about them well.

Benjamin Ogden, The New York Times Book Review

A writer of JM Coetzee’s stature needs no preamble… This book emerges as an engaging series of master classes in novel writing, from which we might distil a selection of dos and don’ts

Lauren Elkin, The Guardian

J.M. Coetzee's essays are filtered through boundless reserves of knowledge, wisdom and reading...A spare, dry sense of humour...Not a single page goes by in this collection when you don't learn something

Spectator

Coetzee remains a highly original thinker, able to take a much-dissected novel such as Flaubert’s Madame Bovary and offer an appreciation that stretches the boundaries of the reading experience. The most intriguing essay is one on Philip Roth, a rare occasion where Coetzee tackles one of his contemporaries

Tobias Grey, Financial Times

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Formats & editions

  • Hardback

    9780143783374

    August 28, 2017

    Knopf Australia

    304 pages

    RRP $29.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9780143783381

    August 28, 2017

    Random House Australia

    304 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
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    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

Also by J.M. Coetzee

The Good Story
Here and Now
Scenes from Provincial Life
Summertime
Inner Workings
Waiting For The Barbarians
In The Heart Of The Country
Elizabeth Costello
Youth
Stranger Shores
Disgrace
Life And Times Of Michael K
Boyhood
Dusklands
Foe
Master Of Petersburg

Recommendations

Picnic At Hanging Rock
Nineteen Eighty Four
Meditations
Feel Free: Essays
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
Great Expectations
Anna Karenina (Vintage Classic Russians Series)
Dracula
The Great Gatsby
Jane Eyre
On the Road
The Crucible
The Republic
North And South
The Little Prince: Popular Penguins
Crime and Punishment
Wuthering Heights
Being There
On Passion
On Doubt