J.M. Coetzee Comes Back to TX

Harry Ransom Center acquires Nobel Prize winner's archives

"John Coetzee has an astonishing mind." A student evaluation from J.M. Coetzee's time teaching at UT's Michener Center for Writers will be included in the HRC's newly acquired archive. (Image courtesy of Harry Ransom Center)

The Harry Ransom Center announced today its acquisition of the archive of South African novelist and Nobel Prize winner J.M. Coetzee. It amounts to something of a homecoming: Coetzee earned his Ph.D from the University of Texas in 1969.

While at UT, Coetzee conducted research in the HRC's collections for his dissertation on the early fiction of Samuel Beckett. Coetzee later returned to Austin to teach at the Michener Center for Writers in 1995. Just last year, he gave a lecture on campus as part of the Graduate School's 1910 Society Lecture Series.

Coetzee twice earned the Man Booker Prize for his novels Life & Times of Michael K (1983) and Disgrace (1999).

"Known for his spare, striking and powerful prose, J. M. Coetzee has left an indelible mark on our culture," said Ransom Center Director Thomas F. Staley. "He writes brilliantly of his native home of South Africa, but the themes and conflicts he explores in his works are universal.” The archive will house around 155 document boxes, five filing cabinet drawers, and an additional eight storage boxes of journals, manuscripts, personal correspondence, and business documents.

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