Lucy Valerie Graham
MA (Rhodes University)
The Use of the Female Voice in Three Novels by J.M. Coetzee
This study focuses on J.M. Coetzee’s use of the female voice in three of his apartheid-era novels: In the Heart of the Country (1977), Foe (1987) and Age of Iron (1990).
The investigation is based on the premise that Coetzee’s position as a male author using a female voice is important for readings of these novels. Although the implications of Coetzee’s strategy are examined against the theoretical background of feminist or gender-related discourses, this study does not attempt to claim him for feminism, nor to prove him a misogynist. Instead, it focuses on the specific positional and narrative possibilities afforded by Coetzee’s use of first-person women’s voices in his apartheid-era fiction.