Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee

This is a novel about a white, middle-aged professor in South Africa who has an affair with a student and loses his job. He goes to live temporarily with his daughter on her small farm. They are robbed and assaulted by three black men. The political or sociological aspects of the story — gender relations in an academic setting, racial relations in modern South Africa — didn’t interest me very much. I did, however, identify with the professor. He’s a difficult character with an uncertain future. He doesn’t regret the affair, isn’t sure what to do with himself, doesn’t get along very well with his daughter. He seems very real.  (1/12/11)

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