Pollitt Reviews J.M. Coetzee's "Summertime" in the New York Times

Check out Katha Pollitt's New York Times review of J.M. Coetzee's last novel, Summertime. Presented as the author's autobiography, the book is in fact a work of fiction, written in present tense and narrated by a third-person interviewer. Read the full review here.

An excerpt:

It’s tempting to see “Summertime” as Mr. Coetzee’s attempt to answer critics’ charges of misogyny by offering a quartet of humorous, mature, strong female characters who haven’t much use for their gloomy, self-absorbed author. One can also see them as resistant muses who upstage the writer by putting themselves at the center of a story that is supposed to be, after all, about him. Readers alert to writerly games about art and reality, however, will note that even if they are modeled after actual people, Julia and the rest are literary characters, the inventions of the novelist, who imagined for them the very qualities they think he does not possess.