The Master of Petersburg

A Novel

by J. M. Coetzee

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780140238105
  • 9781524705534
J.M. Coetzee's latest novel, The Schooldays of Jesus, is now available from Viking. Late Essays: 2006-2016 will be available January 2018. 

In the fall of 1869 Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, lately a resident of Germany, is summoned back to St. Petersburg by the sudden death of his stepson, Pavel. Half crazed with grief, stricken by epileptic seizures, and erotically obsessed with his stepson's landlady, Dostoevsky is nevertheless intent on unraveling the enigma of Pavel's life. Was the boy a suicide or a murder victim? Did he love his stepfather or despise him? Was he a disciple of the revolutionary Nechaev, who even now is somewhere in St. Petersburg pursuing a dream of apocalyptic violence? As he follows his stepson's ghost—and becomes enmeshed in the same demonic conspiracies that claimed the boy—Dostoevsky emerges as a figure of unfathomable contradictions: naive and calculating, compassionate and cruel, pious and unspeakably perverse.

  • Penguin Publishing Group; June 2017
  • ISBN: 9781524705534
  • Read online, or download in secure ePub format
  • Title: The Master of Petersburg
  • Author: J. M. Coetzee
  • Imprint: Penguin Books
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780140238105
  • 9781524705534

In The Press

"A provocative and ironic exploration of the relation of art and life" —Los Angeles Times

"A dark and beautifully imagined novel. Coetzee draws a brilliant portrait of an era of desperation, obsession, and hope." —Elle

"A fascinating study of the dark mysteries of creativity, grief, relationships between fathers and sons, and of the great Russian themes of love and death." —The Wall Street Journal

"South Africa's most brilliant novelist...challenges us to doubt our preconceived notions not only of love but of truth itself." —The Seattle Times


About The Author

Born in Cape Town, South Africa, on February 9, 1940, John Michael Coetzee studied first at Cape Town and later at the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned a Ph.D. degree in literature. In 1972 he returned to South Africa and joined the faculty of the University of Cape Town. His works of fiction include Dusklands, Waiting for the Barbarians, which won South Africa’s highest literary honor, the Central News Agency Literary Award, and the Life and Times of Michael K., for which Coetzee was awarded his first Booker Prize in 1983. He has also published a memoir, Boyhood: Scenes From a Provincial Life, and several essays collections. He has won many other literary prizes including the Lannan Award for Fiction, the Jerusalem Prize and The Irish Times International Fiction Prize. In 1999 he again won Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize for Disgrace, becoming the first author to win the award twice in its 31-year history. In 2003, Coetzee was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780140238105
  • 9781524705534