Disgrace: Biography

Professor J. (John) M. (Maxwell) Coetzee was born in 1940 in Cape Town, South Africa. In 1957, he began studying at the University of Cape Town and after gaining honor degrees in English and Mathematics he lived in England from 1962 to 1965. From 1965 to 1968, he studied for his PhD at the University of Texas and from the early 1970s to 2000 he was employed by the University of Cape Town while also teaching intermittently in the United States.
Taking an overview of his writing, he often returns to the subject of apartheid in South Africa and the ruinous effect this had and continues to have on his country of birth. His first work, Dusklands (1974), was followed by such critically acclaimed novels as In the Heart of the Country (1977), Waiting for the Barbarians (1980), and Life and Times of Michael K. (1983). The latter novel was the recipient of the Booker Prize for Fiction and he became the first author to be awarded this prize twice when Disgrace (1999) won it in 1999.
In addition to writing fiction, he has also written memoirs, literary criticisms and translations. He emigrated to Australia in 2002 and in 2003 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.