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Me & Coetzee May 20, 2017

I read Disgrace by JM Coetzee in the year 2001 when I was living in New York. I had written two books; flops. Disgrace focused my intentions. It became apparent to me that there were heights almost unattainable that could only be reached by careful, quiet, slow work.

Writing with The Slow Man

During the nine months of my last pregnancy I sat at my desk in Brooklyn overlooking the garden every morning and wrote. At night I read either Chekhov, Carver or Coetzee; most likely the latter. I broke my routine on September the 11th when my husband called me downstairs and we watched the news on the television then went outside and from our brownstone stoop saw the second plane hit the Twin Towers.

My daughter was born at the end of November. I'd finished the book a couple of days before. In the spring I sent the book to agents, then it went to publishers. Happy days.

After it was published, I sent it to John Coetzee in Australia.

He replied.

It was a breathless moment to stand...

Click here to read on...

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