J. M. Coetzee is, without question, one of the world's greatest novelists. This volume gathers together for the first time in book form twenty-nine pieces on books, writing, photography and the 1995 Rugby World Cup in South Africa. Stranger Shores opens with "What is a Classic?" in which Coetzee explores the answer to his own question - "What does it mean in living terms to say that the classic is what survives?" - by way of T. S. Eliot, J. S. Bach and Zbigniew Herbert. His subjects range from eighteenth and nineteenth century writers Daniel Defoe, Samuel Richardson and Ivan Turgenev, to the great German modernists Rilke, Kafka, and Musil, to the giants of late twentieth century literature, among them Harry Mulisch, Joseph Brodsky, Jorge Luis Borges, Salman Rushdie, Amos Oz, Naguib Mahfouz, Nadine Gordimer and Doris Lessing.
A professor of general literature at the University of Cape Town, Coetzee has won many literary awards, including the CNA prize, South Africa's premier literary award (three times), the Booker Prize (twice), the Prix -tranger Femina, the Jerusalem Prize, the Lannan Literary Award, and the Irish Times International Fiction Prize.