Coetzee Leaving South Africa - An essay in the NYT Book Review

'Why would a novelist who has written so powerfully about the land of his birth pack up and leave? Were his 2002 move and his taking of Australian citizenship last year a betrayal of his homeland, or a rejoinder to a country whose new government had denounced one of his most important novels as racist? Was it just another example of the “white flight” that has sent hundreds of thousands of generally affluent South Africans to other Anglophone countries since the end of apartheid? Or was it a tacit acknowledgment that Coetzee had exhausted his South African material, that the next chapter in the country’s history was the rise of the black middle class, and what did an old resistance writer, with his aloof, middle-aged white narrators, know about that?'

This is the central question Rachel Donadio asks in her essay Out of South Africa published in the December 16, 2007 NYT Book Review. To read more of this thought provoking essay, click on the title of this post.

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