Late essays by J.M. Coetzee

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This is an interesting collection of Coetzee's commentary on 20 authors (one female) including Australian writers Patrick White (two essays), Gerald Murnane and Les Murray.

The insightful analyses delve into the life circumstances and social times of the writers and the effect of these on their writing. The result is to engender an interest in the reader to read the books analysed. Because of this, in my view it is not necessary to have read the works of the authors covered in the essays in order to appreciate Coetzee's essays.

There is no indication as to the criteria (if any) used for selection of authors. There are chapter notes and references at the end.

While the book may provide ideas for connected texts for year 12 students and be useful for older students undertaking study of any of the authors covered, in schools Late essays is probably most useful for teacher reference.

Ann Griffin