A feminist response to Coetzee’s masterwork Disgrace, and the moving story of a woman trying to put her life back together
“A powerful and brilliant critique of both JM Coetzee’s Disgrace and contemporary South Africa. Snyckers makes the reader ponder deeply one minute and laugh loudly the next. A must read.”–Zukiswa Wanner
“A brilliant book whether or not read in the shadow of Coetzee’s original.”–Mail & Guardian SA
“Cutting, controversial and compelling, Lacuna explores pain and privilege.”–Diane Awerbuck
“Snyckers brings Lucy to life, warts and all, in a novel that is at turns exasperating, poignant, and unexpectedly funny.”–Drum Magazine
Lucie Lurie is the victim of an act of terrible sexual violence, a gang rape at her father’s farmhouse in the Western Cape. In the grip of debilitating PTSD, she becomes obsessed with JM Coetzee, author of the celebrated Disgrace, a novel based on the attack she suffered.
Withdrawn and fearful of crowds, Lucy nonetheless makes occasional forays into the world of men in her search for Coetzee himself. She means to confront him. The character in his novel is passive and almost entirely lacking agency. The real Lucy means to right the record, for she is the lacuna that Coetzee left in his novel the missing piece of the puzzle. She plans to put herself back in the story, to assert her agency and identity. For Lucy Lurie will be no man’s lacuna.
“You are concerned for my sake, which I appreciate, you think you understand, but finally you don’t. Because you can’t.”
–Lucy Lurie in Coetzee’s Disgrace
Fiona Snyckers is the author of several YA. novels and the thriller, Now Following You. She is a regular contributor to The Times, The Sunday Times, and the Guardian’s Thought Leader website. She lives in Johannesburg.