Department of English

Alumnus J.M. Coetzee awarded 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature

Tue, June 1, 2004
He was recognized in 2001 by the university's Graduate School with the Outstanding Alumnus Award. ''Both the state of Texas and The University of Texas were welcoming and generous to me from the moment I arrived there in 1965,'' Coetzee said in the November/December 2001 issue of The Alcalde magazine. ''I learned a great deal during my time as a student, as well as during my two subsequent academic visits. It is a source of much satisfaction to me to have kept up the connection with UT to the present day.''

Coetzee was the first writer to win the prestigious Booker Prize twice, first for ''Life and Times of Michael K'' in 1983 and again in 1999 for ''Disgrace.'' His other novels include ''The Master of Petersburg,'' ''Age of Iron'' and ''Foe.'' ''There is a great wealth of variety on Coetzee's works,'' according to the Swedish Academy. ''No two books ever follow the same recipe. Extensive reading reveals a recurring pattern, the downward spiraling journeys he considers necessary for the salvation of his characters. His protagonists are overwhelmed by the urge to sink but paradoxically derive strength from being stripped of all external dignity.''

In addition to novels, Coetzee has written two autobiographical books, ''Boyhood'' and ''Youth,'' and several collections of essays. His most recent work is this year's ''Elizabeth Costello: Eight Lessons.''
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