JM Coetzee wins the 2010 Queensland Premier’s Literary Award

The Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards were announced last night, on the eve of the Brisbane Writers’ Festival.

The main award was won by JM Coetzee with Summertime, the third book in his fictionalised memoirs. The first two were Boyhood and Youth. I have this in my TBR but it has yet to arrive at the top! However, since it also won this year’s NSW Premier’s Literary Award, I clearly need to start levitating it.

As with the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and the Age Book of the Year awards, these awards comprise a whole swag of prizes. I won’t list them all here but, given recent posts on this blog, I would like to mention the David Unaipon Award for an Unpublished Indigenous Writer. This year’s was won by Jeanine Leane with a book called Purple Threads which is apparently a funny and sad tale of a household of indigenous women. I look forward to seeing it in print.

And, on a personal front, my Kindle landed today. I have downloaded Ford Madox Ford‘s The good soldier (because that’s the next classic I want to read) and Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park (because a Jane Austen has to be among the first). More anon …

12 thoughts on “JM Coetzee wins the 2010 Queensland Premier’s Literary Award

  1. Will you be able to attend the festival?

    Do you think that he will appear to receive his prize?

    Our book group just finished reading Elizabeth Costello, a thinly disguised novel about his views on animal rights and writing.

  2. Yay for Coetzee. I really have to read more of his stuff. And yay for your Kindle! I just finished Mansfield Park this morning and will let is sit in my brain for a day or two before posting on it. I’ll be interested in how you like The Good Soldier. It’s…interesting.

    • Isabel. No unfortunately, it’s about 1200km (900mi) more or less from where I live. The Melbourne festival is on at present too but it’s a long way from me too, though not as far as that. I’ve read Elizabeth Costello. (Have read 3 or 4 of his books). Fascinating – and a good one for discussion. I think it’s perhaps a bit more than “A thinly disguised novel” but him pushing the novel to a new direction. This becomes even more so in his A diary of a bad year. He’s a very interesting man I think.

      Stefanie. Yes, YAY here too. And I have to read more of him too. I showed my Kindle to my patchwork group last night – all older than I am and they liked the bigger font option! Anyhow, I look forward to your review when it has sat with you for a while. I’ll be commenting! (Nicely of course, no matter what you say!) TGS. It’s dot dot dot interesting?? Hmmm, that has intrigued me.

      • Oh yes, Costello is far, far more than that. Isabel. Please. Think of this. What is the book is something else disguised as a thinly disguised novel about animal rights and writing? What if Coetzee is deliberately tempting you to think of it as a polemic? What if he is doing this quite consciously, to see if you’ll stop there, or if you’ll keep going? What then?

  3. At the last book club, one person said that our discussion barely touched on all the themes and that book would make a great dissertation.

    Another member didn’t see the point of the novel. If Elizabeth believes in nothing, then what’s the use?

    Everyone agrees that they need to read it again.

    • Thanks Isabel for answering that question. It is a book that bears a second reading. One of the things I liked about it was Coetzee’s exploring writers, writing and its intersection with belief and ideas. EC represents a writer who is questioning what she does, what the value is of what she does, whether it means anything. I found it all fascinating even if it made my brain hurt at times!

  4. I loved Summertime so respect the decision and, well, I guess it helps keep the TBR from growing too quickly as a win by someone else may have pushed another book on the pile. I look forward to your thoughts when you read it. I just love Coetzee’s style and way of looking at the world (himself?).

    Also, I read The Good Soldier for the first time this year, so I also will be looking forward to your take on that one. It is, as one of your other commenters said, “interesting”. I thought it was very good. Also, I think an excellent companion novel is What I Loved by Siri Hustvedt. I thought there were numerous parallels, so found the comparisons quite interesting. The stories go off in completely different directions, but the two ways these two authors use a similar setup was fascinating to me. At any rate, enjoy!

    • Thanks Kerry. I love Coetzee’s style too, so am looking forward to making time to read it. Have you read the other two in the “autobiographical” series?

      Have read, according to the Kindle, 4% of The good soldier! (Going a bit slow because the Kindle at present is my supplementary read.) So far I like it a lot – it’s got the sort of tone I tend to enjoy but early days yet.

      • I have read all three in the “autobiographical” series. It is hard for me to pick a favorite because I liked Boyhood and Summertime equally well, though for different reasons. Youth was very good, but maybe not quite excellent. And they all stand well alone, so if you haven’t read the others, you will still get full enjoyment from Summertime.

        I will be keeping watch for your reaction to The Good Soldier.

  5. Congrats to Coetzee. I got to know him with the novel ‘Disgrace’ and am glad to see he is still writing excellent books.

    Good luck with ‘The Good Soldier’. I read it in July as part of the 1001 book list. Like Kerry said, I too wait for your reaction to it. In fact that reminds me, it’s high time I stuck up my review of it!

    • Yes, that was my introduction to him, but I have gone on to read more after that. I have seen him in person once – but he is a shy man.

      Oh, and DO put up your review. You don’t post reviews straightaway?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s