Jaipur Diary – Long Queue for JM Coetzee
The big draw.
[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]
A great crowd collected to hear JM Coetzee, one of the two Nobel laureates attending the Jaipur Literature Festival (the other is Orhan Pamuk). A reclusive South African author who rarely grants interviews, Mr Coetzee, 70, has a lean body, white beard and a haunting voice. Introduced by author Patrick French, he read out his short story The Old Woman and the Cats. About an hour later, as he was signing copies of his books, the queue grew so long that the last person in the line had to wait for more than an hour for his turn. People were asked to present no more than two books to the author. Mr Coetzee rarely raised his head while signing the copies. However, when The Delhi Walla reached his desk, the novelist raised his eyes, shrugged his shoulders, took the copy of Disgrace from my hands, signed it and – while returning the book – said, “With pleasure.”
Shh, Mr Coetzee is reading
In rapt attention
Loving the moment
Long queue for signing