A divorced middle-aged English professor finds his life completely in shambles after an affair with his student leaves him jobless, shunned by friends, and ridiculed by his ex-wife. He heads out to the country, staying with his daughter on her remote farm.
Things between them are strained — there is much from the past they need to reconcile — and the situation becomes critical when they are the victims of a brutal and horrifying attack, forcing them to confront their relationship, as well as the equally complicated racial complexities of a post-Apartheid South Africa.
In spectacularly powerful and lucid prose, Coetzee uses all his formidable skills to engage with a post-apartheid culture in unexpected and revealing ways. This examination into the sexual and political law lines of modern South Africa as it tries desperately to start a fresh page in its history is chilling, uncompromising and unforgettable.
"Compulsively readable... A novel that not only works its spell but makes it impossible for us to lay it aside once we've finished reading it." —The New Yorker
"Disgrace is a mini-opera without music by a writer at the top of his form.”—Time