Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Fall 2013 Newsletter

Archive of Nobel Prize–winning writer J. M. Coetzee opens for research

The archive of Nobel Prize–winning writer and University of Texas at Austin alumnus J. M. Coetzee is available for research. The bulk of the archive traces the author's life and career from 1960 through 2012.

Coetzee was born in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1940 and graduated from the University of Cape Town. After working three years as a computer programmer in England, he enrolled in The University of Texas at Austin in 1965 to pursue his Ph.D. in English, linguistics, and Germanic languages. While at the University, he conducted research in the Ransom Center's collections for his dissertation on the early fiction of Samuel Beckett.

"It is a privilege to have graduated from being a teaching assistant at The University of Texas to being one of the authors whose papers are conserved here," said Coetzee. "I write these words from my home on the south coast of the Australian mainland, an area prone to destructive bushfires. It is a secondary source of satisfaction to me that, even if this house itself goes up in flames, the work of my hands will have been whisked away to a place of safety in the vaults of the Ransom Center."

The archive fills 140 document boxes, 13 oversize boxes, and one galley file, documenting all of Coetzee's major writings and including notes, typescripts, background research materials, and publicity materials. Digital materials, including email and more than 100 disks, are not yet available to researchers.  

View an inventory of the Coetzee collection


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