Recommended by the fellow traveler few months back, Disgrace is the fiction novel written by J.M Coetzee in 1999. Coetzee, South African writer, won Booker’s prize for this book followed by Nobel price in Literature in 2004. I was little bit disappointed when this book arrived through courier, mostly because of size of the book (220 pages only).
The author waste no time in establishing the protagonist’s character here. David Lurie is a professor in the university in Cape Town. Two-times divorced, Lurie is 52 year old lecturer of English Literature who also operates special course in the university for romantic poetry. His moment of Disgrace starts when he seduces a venerable girl from his special course which is later revealed to the university commission. Not helped by the knowledge of the case to media and his unapologetic confession, he resigns from his post in university.
He then takes refuse in his daughter’s farm in rural county. Slowly he starts to get comfortable with his daughter’s hippie lifestyle and unusual rural life. However, followed by couple of incidents involving attacks and rape to his daughter, he find himself in helpless position where we could neither help her nor ignore her. Totally demoralized by the incidents, he continues to live around his daughter beyond her welcome in attempt to save her.
Coetzee style of portraying the two sides of same personality is brilliant. He lets the political trouble of the country sit in the sub-plot and he kept his focus on the characters. Another thing which is noteworthy is that he gives space to the readers and let them take their side of the story. I recommend this book only if you can take some dose of tragic reading, however, let me assure you, the tragic part is not as intense as “God of Small things”.
Happy Reading !!