In Boyhood, J. M. Coetzee revisits the South Africa of half a century ago, to write about his childhood and interior life. Boyhood's young narrator grew up in a small country town. With a father he imitated but could not respect, and a mother he both adored and resented, he picked his way through a world that refused to explain its rules, but whose rules he knew he must obey. Steering between these contradictions, Boyhood evokes the tensions, delights and terrors of childhood with startling, haunting immediacy. Coetzee examines his young self with the dispassionate curiosity of an explorer rediscovering his own early footprints, and the account of his progress is bright, hard and simply compelling.
In this absorbing memoir, the author recalls the deeply felt hopes, fears and insecurities of his South African childhood during the 1940's. He writes with clarity and wit about the complexities of family relationships and his experiences at school, while recording his observations about the rigid hierarchy of white people, 'coloureds' and 'natives'. An impressive account. (Kirkus UK)
Number Of Pages: 176
Published: 6th August 1998
Publisher: Random House
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 20.0 x 13.2 x 1.2
Weight (kg): 0.13