“How will he keep them all in his head, all the books, all the people, all the stories? And if he does not remember them, who will?” – JM Coetzee, Boyhood

Boyhood is the first book in Coetzee’s three-part autobiographical series ‘Scenes from Provincial Life’. By turns touching, funny, and severe, it offers readers intimate and piercing insight into the formative years of the writer that the boy will later become.

Presenting evocative snapshots from Coetzee’s childhood as he grows up in the provincial settings of Worcester and Cape Town during the early years of formal apartheid in South Africa, Boyhood is an unflinching examination of a world founded on dispossession, structured by injustice, and riven with division.

Saturated with love for the land while reckoning with the stain of colonialism, it speaks in profound and nuanced ways of what it might mean to live in and write from the South.

The Stories from the South Book Club will meet live at Dymocks Bookstore Rundle Mall on  September 26, 2023, at 6-7.30pm for a discussion of Boyhood.

The discussion will be introduced and facilitated by esteemed South Australian writer Nicholas Jose, whose most recent novel The Idealist is set against the backdrop of the East Timor independence referendum, and Shannon Burns, author of the critically acclaimed Adelaide memoir, Childhood, alongside South African literary critic Meg Samuelson.

Register here for this free public event.

Copies of Boyhood can be purchased at Dymocks Rundle Mall or sourced from libraries or electronically.

A Reading Guide for Boyhood will be released soon. Follow InReview and the website’s Stories from the South page for further updates on the Stories from the South program.

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