J.M. Coetzee became the first author to win twice, following up his 1983 victory with Disgrace, an uncomfortable story of post-apartheid South Africa and sexual politics.

The novel, which combines heavyweight themes and spare prose, is widely regarded as one of the most significant works of modern fiction, although Coetzee has spoken little about the book or the motivation behind it. Two years after the win Coetzee moved to Australia and shortly afterwards was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

The judges later had a public falling out when one of them, John Sutherland, ignored the omertà of the judging conclave and claimed there was a gender split over the final decision. 

J.M. Coetzee
Published by
Secker & Warburg
J.M. Coetzee became the first author to win the Booker twice with this tale set in post-apartheid South Africa, where a professor’s complacency contributes to his utter downfall.

The Shortlist

Prize winner
Fasting, Feasting
Our Fathers
The Map of Love

The 1999 judges