FIRST EDITION OF IN THE HEART OF THE COUNTRY, SIGNED BY NOBEL LAUREATE J.M. COETZEE, THE FIRST OF HIS NOVELS PUBLISHED OUTSIDE SOUTH AFRICA
COETZEE J[ohn] M[axwell]. In the Heart of the Country. London: Secker & Warburg, (1977). Octavo, original black paper boards, original dust jacket. $1500.
First edition of second novel by Coetzee, awarded the 2003 Nobel Prize for Literature, signed on the title page by him.
Coetzee's controversial second novel, Heart of the County, was "written at a time of increasing international isolation for South Africa" (Cambridge Introduction to J.M. Coetzee, 43). The first of his novels to be published outside South Africa, it is "written as a diary, in the fierce, scathing, half-mad voice of woman living in near isolation on a South African sheep farm" (New York Times). In awarding Coetzee the 2003 Nobel Prize for Literature, the Nobel Committee especially praised his "analytical brilliance… a fundamental theme in Coetzee's novels involves the values and conduct resulting from South Africa's apartheid system, which, in his view, could arise anywhere." Coetzee skillfully draws on the works of Beckett, Sartre, Kafka, Hegel and others in his consistent focus "on the relationship of language, 'identity' and history" (Silvani, Political Bodies, 4). Basis for director Marion Hänsel's 1985 film, Dust. Sections serialized in South Africa in the magazine Standpunte 124 (August 1976). Precedes the American edition titled, From the Heart of the Country. Coetzee's first novel, Dusklands, was published in South Africa in 1974 but was not issued outside the country until 1982.
Book fine; tiny bit of dampstaining to spine end, lightest edge-wear to near-fine dust jacket.