Prize Winning Novelists Speak at UAlbany

Published on Oct. 16, 2012

By. Casey So Hyeun Cho

Paul Auster (left) and J.M. Coetzee are sharing their soon to be published collection of the letters between them.Photo by So Hyeun Casey Cho

Paul Auster (left) and J.M. Coetzee are sharing their soon to be published collection of the letters between them.
                         Photo by Casey So Hyeun Cho

South African Nobel-Prize winning novelist J.M. Coetzee and American novelist Paul Auster visited University at Albany to meet their fans and to speak to the Albany community on Oct. 12.

Coetzee and Auster shared the texts from their soon-to-be-published body of personal letters which includes the correspondence of their friendship, childhood, marriage, art, politics, unfavorable literary reviews, travel, immigration, sports, translation, bigotry, South Africa, Israel, Palestine, insomnia, and among other subjects.

Coetzee, the first person to win the Man Booker Prize twice, which is a literary award for full-length novels given to a citizen of the Commonswealth of Nations, Ireland or Zimabawe. He is the author of a number of novels regarded as classics of contemporary world literature, including “Summertime” (’09),  “Slow Man” (‘05), Elizabeth Costell” (‘03), “Disgrace” (‘99), “The Master of Petersburg” (‘94), “Life & Times of Michael K” (‘83) and “Waiting for the Barbarians” (‘80).

Paul Auster is known for his dark, intellectual, bestselling novels, including “Sunset Park” (‘10), “Oracle Nights” (‘03), “The Book of Illusions” (‘02), “The Music of Chance” (‘90), and “The New York Trilogy” (‘87) and “Winter Journal” (‘12).

Before their main seminar, the authors discussed Herman Meville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener,” the tale of a 19th century office worker who refuses to conform to the demands of corporate culture in the financial district of lower Manhattan, in the Recital Hall.

The theatre was filled with the students, faculty, alumni and Albany community members.

“The seminar were filled with people who are enthusiastic for literature.” UAlbany student Tanya Ershova said, “I love that my book is signed by J.M. Coetzee.”

The collection of the letters will be published first in Dutch in 2012, and in English as “Here and Now” in Spring 2013.