Publication of prizewinning author J M Coetzee’s newest title has been brought forward after it was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize last week.
The Schooldays of Jesus (Harvill Secker), a sequel to The Childhood of Jesus, will now be published on 18th August, instead of 29th September.
The author was longlisted for the £50,000 Man Booker last week along with 12 other writers - A L Kennedy, Deborah Levy, Paul Beatty, Graeme Macrae Burnet, Ian McGuire, David Means, Wyl Menmuir, Ottessa Moshfegh, Virginia Reeves, Elizabeth Strout, David Szalay and Madeleine Thien.
Coetzee, 76, has already won the prize twice - first in 1983 for Life & Times of Michael K (Vintage) and again in 1999 with Disgrace (Vintage).
Liz Foley, publishing director at Harvill Secker, said: “Harvill Secker is thrilled to be bringing forward the publication date of The Schooldays of Jesus to 18th August following the exciting news of the book’s longlisting for the Man Booker Prize 2016. We’ve had a great amount of interest already and are really pleased to be able to release it into the world earlier for readers to enjoy.”
The Schooldays of Jesus tells the story of the “curiously contrived” family of Simón, Inés and Davíd which resettles in the city of Estrella, after being forced to flee their previous home in Novilla following a dispute with the education authorities. There they seek to continue the schooling of the headstrong and gifted boy, Davíd, who starts attending an unusual Dance Academy and falls under the influence of his charismatic teacher and the unnerving doorman, Dmitri.
Booksellers have hailed the longlist with enthusiasm, and said it is "the most open for years". However, Sunday Times literary editor Andrew Holgate has argued that the inclusion of US authors for the Man Booker pize has been "disastrous". This year five US authors were longlisted, compared with six British authors, one from Canada and Coetzee from South Africa/Australia.
The Schooldays of Jesus will be published in hardback and priced £13.99.