"This life is described with such skill, such exactitude and such relentlessness that I found myself gasping for air... Coetzee has achieved something universal in his work...a fine book, probably the best description of a childhood I have ever read" (The Times
"As funny, cruel and terrifying as life itself. It is also intense and elegant, clearly the product of the complex, subtle imagination which shapes Coetzee's outstanding fiction... As austerely beautiful as would be expected of Coetzee the artist...its aloof, edgy grace and seething passion ensure the narrative is both truthful and mysterious" (Irish Times
is a deeply-felt and utterly compelling account of a South African childhood: the narrative style is as spare and lean as the Karoo flatlands which form its backdrop" (Daily Telegraph
"The economy with which Coetzee makes sense of his past is evidence, once again, of his outstanding talent" (Independent on Sunday
"An uncannily accurate picture of the way things were in South Africa" (Literary Review
The first volume of memoir from one of the world's greatest living writers: Coetzee examines his young self with dispassionate curiosity and an unflinching eye.