Book - 2002
Average Rating:
Rate this:
The narrator of Youth, a student in the South Africa of the 1950s, has long been plotting an escape from his native country: from the stifling love of his mother, a father whose failures haunt him, and what he is sure is impending revolution. Studying mathematics, reading poetry, and saving money, he tries to ensure that when he arrives in the real world, wherever that may be, he will be prepared to experience life to its full intensity and transform it into art. Arriving at last in London, however, he finds neither poetry nor romance. Instead he succumbs to the monotony of life as a computer programmer, from which random, loveless affairs offer no relief. Devoid of inspiration, he stops writing. An awkward colonial, a constitutional outsider, he begins a dark pilgrimage in which he is continually tested and continually found wanting.Set against the background of the 1960s-Sharpeville, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Vietnam-Youth is a remarkable portrait of a consciousness, isolated and adrift, turning in on itself. J. M. Coetzee explores a young man's struggle to find his way in the world with tenderness and a fierce clarity.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2002
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9780670031023
Branch Call Number: 823 Coetzee
823 Coetzee
Characteristics: 169 p. ; 22 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

May 17, 2018

Coetzee is so lucid and unsentimental about life - and his own life especially - that it hurts.

Dec 20, 2014

A short novel set mostly in London in which the narrator has set out to in order to further his art but ends up as a computer programmer. The author's compelling prose makes this a worthwhile novel to read.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at OPL

To Top