Outstanding Alumnus Award
John M. Coetzee, South African novelist of international stature and Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Cape Town, received two undergraduate degrees and a master's degree from Cape Town, and his doctorate in English from The University of Texas at Austin. Professor Coetzee was nominated in 1996 for the Nobel Prize in Literature and is the only author to win the Booker Prize twice, for The Life and Times of Michael K in 1983, and Disgrace in 1999. His work has won almost every Commonwealth literary award, including the Geoffrey Faber Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. Other prestigious literary awards accorded Dr. Coetzee include the South African CNA Prize, The Prix Etranger Femina, the Jerusalem Prize, the Irish Times International Fiction Prize, and a Lannan Foundation award for his significant contribution to English Literature.
In 1996, the University of Natal awarded Dr. Coetzee the honorary degree of Doctor of Literature for his work as a literary artist, university teacher and researcher. He has received several other honorary doctorates and has been visiting professor or honorary fellow at a number of universities, including The University of Texas at Austin, where in 1997 he taught creative writing in the Department of English. Much of his writing deals with political and social conditions in South Africa, with themes of human isolation and suffering resulting from imperialism and apartheid.
The Graduate School has awarded a John M. Coetzee Fellowship for 2001-2002 to Susan B. Anthony Somers-Willett, a doctoral student in creative writing in the Department of English.