Johannesburg: Ravan Press, 1974. 1st Edition. Octavo, publisher's cocoa cloth, spine gilt, original illustrated dust jacket.
"I speak to the broken halves of all our selves and tell them to embrace, loving the worst in us equally with the best." Stated first printing of Nobel Prize-winning South African author J.M. Coetzee’s debut novel. The two-part narrative consists of a novella, The Vietnam Project, and an extended short story, "The Narrative of Jacobus Coetzee." The former is narrated by Eugene Dawn, a mythographer on the edge of madness writing a propaganda report for the Department of Defense on the American presence in Vietnam; the latter recounts an elephant hunter's encounters with an indigenous population on the Western Cape of South Africa. Juxtaposing subject positions within 20th-century imperialism and 18th-century Dutch colonialism, Coetzee’s candid exploration of dominance, violence, and exploitation was immediately recognized as a work of genius upon publication and had an unprecedented impact on the South African literary scene. He has since become considered the quintessential chronicler of South Africa's transition from apartheid. Minor rubbing to spine-ends and corners of boards; unclipped dust jacket lightly rubbed at edges, with one small closed tear to top edge of upper panel. Near fine. Item #5169