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November 24, 2011

Youth: Scenes from Provincial Life II


Youth: Scenes from Provincial Life II by J. M. Coetzee, 2002. Caveat: I am unfamiliar with the works of J.M. Coetzee who was the recipient of the 2003 Nobel Prize in literature. Therefore, I can only speak based on the Spanish version of this book.

Juventud is a first person autobiographical narrative that takes place when Mr. Coetzee leaves troubled South Africa for England and the subsequent years that followed when he lived in London.

As is the case with many immigrants, he ran into some financial difficulties. Trying to get by with a small scholarship, while pursuing a degree in mathematics, even though his real passion was literature, proved to be hard. Because of his mathematics background, he landed a job with IBM, but it did not last long.

His narrative details some love affair adventures and misadventures but overall this entire book will not set you on fire. As you would imagine the writing is impeccable but I was not moved by it. At times it felt slow, then again, perhaps it’s just me.

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