J. M. Coetzee and Moving to Cape Town

Like pulling a massive tree out of the soil, a move of country and city is especially hard once you are older and grown up. The roots are longer, the trunk less flexible. The uncertainty is greater and the relocation more scarring.

One thing I was worried about when I moved to Cape Town was leaving the culture, the art, the vibrancy of our lives in Sydney, Australia. Living in Africa can feel like living in the past and in the outback at times, with outdated technology and infrastructure. Less trendy, less options.

At least, that’s what I thought.

The truth is, South Africa is as vibrant a place you could hope for – its present and its history are full of stories. The Silicon Cape initiative is thriving.

What makes me especially happy is that great authors have written stories set just down the road from me. I love relating to art on many levels, and one of the best relationships to have with a book is an intimate understanding of the geography. Much of “Disgrace” is set in Cape Town and in areas of South Africa I have seen with my own eyes. I am a quarter of the way through and loving it so far. So far the protagonist is an unlikable man, but his predicament is fascinating.

I think I will stay in Cape Town a while longer. At least to finish this book!