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Disgrace

Disgrace

Author(s): J M Coetzee

Location(s): South Africa

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): Turn of 21st Century

Location

Content

Disgrace takes as its complex central character 52-year-old English professor David Lurie whose preoccupation with Romantic poetry–and romancing his students–threatens to turn him into a “a moral dinosaur”. Called to account by the University for a passionate but brief affair with a student who is ambivalent about his embraces, David refuses to apologise, drawing on poetry before what he regards as political correctness in his claim that his “case rests on the rights of desire.” Seeking refuge with his quietly progressive daughter Lucie on her isolated small holding, David finds that the violent dilemmas of the new South Africa are inescapable when the tentative emotional truce between errant father and daughter is ripped apart by a traumatic event that forces Lucie to an appalling disgrace.

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Lead Review

Disgrace is a subtle, multilayered story, as much concerned with politics as it is with the itch of male flesh. Coetzee’s prose is chaste and lyrical — it is a relief to encounter writing...

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