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J. M. Coetzee

John Maxwell Coetzee (born 9 February 1940) is a South African author. On October 2, he was named laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2003, the fourth person from Africa to be so honoured. The Prize was awarded in Stockholm on December 10.

He was born in Cape Town as John Michael Coetzee (he later changed his middle name), and his formative years were spent between that port city and the Western Cape town of Worcester. He studied at the University of Cape Town, where he took degrees in mathematics and English.

In the early 1960s he relocated to England, where he worked for a time with computers; his experiences there were later chronicled in Youth (2002). He then moved on to postgraduate studies in literature in the USA at the University of Texas, following which he taught English and literature at the State University of New York at Buffalo until 1983.

In 1984 he returned to South Africa to a professorship in English Literature at the University of Cape Town. Upon retirement in 2002, he relocated to Adelaide, Australia, where he was made an honorary research fellow at the English department of the University of Adelaide.

He was the first author to be awarded the Booker Prize on two occasions: for The Life and Times of Michael K in 1983, and for Disgrace in 1999; because of a desire to avoid the associated publicity he did not appear to collect his prizes. In addition to his novels, he has also published critical works and translations.

Things J.M. Coetzee claim he likes: