The cosmopolitan J. M. Coetzee has lived and worked on four continents—Africa, Europe, America, and Australia—and may be the only great writer who has earned a Ph.D., a degree that usually extinguishes the creative spirit. An expert in German, Dutch, and French, he’s mastered European literature. He lectures each year at his Chair, the Cátedra Coetzee in Buenos Aires, and edits his Biblioteca Personal with the Argentine publisher Hilo de Ariadna (Ariadne’s Thread). His introductions to single works translated into Spanish, when he cannot assume the knowledge of sophisticated readers, are mixed in Late Essays with more heavyweight reviews of multiple works for The New York Review of Books.

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