Boyhood

By J.M. Coetzee,

Book cover of Boyhood: Scenes from Provincial Life

Book description

The critically acclaimed author of In the Heart of the Country tells his personal story of growing up under apartheid in South Africa with a father he cannot respect and a mother he both adores and despises. 12,500 first printing.

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. (learn more)

Why read it?

1 author picked Boyhood as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Some would claim Coetzee’s Boyhood is an autobiographical novel, and others would insist it is a fictionalized memoir. In any case, it is a powerful depiction of a child’s experience of being raised in the harsh, racist culture of Afrikaners in apartheid South Africa. Maybe because the author decided to tell the story from the 3rd person perspective—as if standing outside of himself—the bleakness of his home and community presses home twice as hard. One senses, behind the cruelty and callousness, the buried ugliness of entrenched bigotry. I lived in a kinder missionary community, learning to admire the people…

Want books like Boyhood?

Our community of 6,000+ authors has personally recommended 10 books like Boyhood.

Browse books like Boyhood

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the apartheid, Ethiopia, and Kenya?

6,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the apartheid, Ethiopia, and Kenya.

The Apartheid Explore 33 books about the apartheid
Ethiopia Explore 36 books about Ethiopia
Kenya Explore 43 books about Kenya