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From Publishers Weekly:<P> Harsh, unflinching and powerful, Coetzee's novel is a cry of moral outrage at the legacy that apartheid has created in South Africa. In scenes of stunning ferocity, he depicts the unequal warfare waging between the two races, a conflict in which the balance of power is slowly shifting.<P> An elderly woman's letters to her daughter in America make up the narrative. Near death from rapidly advancing cancer, Cape Town resident Mrs. Curren is a retired university professor and political liberal who has always considered herself a "good person" in deploring the government's obfuscatory and brutal policies, though she has been insulated from the barbarism they produce. When the teenage son of her housekeeper is murdered by the police and his activist friend is also shot by security forces, Mrs. Curren realizes that "now my eyes are open and I can never close them again."<P> The only person to whom she can communicate her anguished feelings of futility and waste is an alcoholic derelict whom she prevails on to be her messenger after her death, by mailing the packet of her letters to her daughter. In them she records the rising tide of militancy among young blacks; brave, defiant and vengeful, they are a generation whose hearts have turned to iron. His metaphors in service to a story that moves with the implacability of a nightmare, Coetzee's own urgent message has never been so cogently delivered.
Aunque se leían desde hacía años, Paul Auster y J.M. Coetzee no se conocieron personalmente hasta febrero de 2008, cuando Auster y su mujer, la novelista y ensayista Siri Hustvedt, asistieron al festival literario de Adelaide, en Australia. Poco después de su vuelta a Nueva York, Auster recibió una carta de Coetzee en la que le proponía una colaboración epistolar. En su carta de respuesta a Coetzee, Auster sugirió que comenzaran con un diálogo abierto sobre cualquier tema que pudiera interesarles a los dos, «el tipo de conversaciones que tendríamos si coincidiera que viviéramos en la misma ciudad. Pero no una conversación de sobremesa, sino algo más riguroso». Coetzee aceptó y así dio comienzo el intercambio de cartas que aparecen en este libro. El plan original era continuar con la correspondencia durante dos años, pero cuando se acercaba el plazo decidieron alargarlo uno más. Con buen ojo, esta correspondencia comienza con una discusión sobre la amistad.
This is an extraordinary new fable from one of the world's greatest living novelists, two-time Booker Prize winner and Nobel Laureate. David is a small boy who comes by boat across the ocean to a new country. He has been separated from his parents, and has lost the piece of paper that would have explained everything. On the boat a stranger named Simon takes it upon himself to look after the boy. On arrival they are assigned new names, new birthdates. They know little Spanish, the language of their new country, and nothing about its customs. They have also suffered a kind of forgetting of old attachments and feelings. They are people without a past. Simon's goal is to find the boy's mother. He feels sure he will know her when he sees her. And David? He wants to find his mother too but he also wants to understand where he is and how he fits in. He is a boy who is always asking questions. The Childhood of Jesus is not like any other novel you have read. This beautiful and surprising fable is about childhood, about destiny, about being an outsider. It is a novel about the riddle of experience itself. J. M. Coetzee was the first author to win the Booker Prize twice and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003. His work includes Waiting for the Barbarians, Life and Times of Michael K, The Master of Petersburg, Disgrace and Diary of a Bad Year. He lives in Adelaide. textpublishing. com. au 'Coetzee is a master we scarcely deserve. ' Age 'Coetzee gradually, with great intelligence and skill, brings to extraordinary - possibly divine - life an ostensibly simple story. ' Weekend Australian 'A theological and philosophical fable of considerable brilliance, power and wit. Coetzee hasn't done anything as fine and beautifully executed as this since Disgrace. ' Canberra Times and Age '[A] quiet, haunting novel. . . Coetzee's calm, emblematic prose lifts the plot into something redolent with metaphor and mystery. . . Any statement can become a symbol; every event is suffused with potential revelation; something magical is always present and just out of reach. . . It's a memorable accomplishment, turning the everyday into the almost everlasting. ' Weekend Herald (NZ) 'Double Booker Prize-winner Coetzee's fable has a dream-like, Kafkaesque quality. Are we in some kind of heaven, purgatory or simply another staging post of existence? Clear answers are elusive, but this is a riveting, thought-provoking read and surely Coetzee's best novel since Disgrace more than a decade ago. ' Daily Mail 'Written with all of Coetzee's penetrating rigour, it will be an early contender for an unprecedented third Booker prize. ' Observer 'The Childhood of Jesus represents a return to the allegorical mode that made him famous. . . a Kafkaesque version of the nativity story. . . The Childhood of Jesus does ample justice to his giant reputation: it's richly enigmatic, with regular flashes of Coetzee's piercing intelligence. ' Guardian 'The sense of calm, furthered by Coetzee's spare prose, is very unsettling. . . These are not the horrors of Waiting for the Barbarians, this is the horror of banality. ' Independent on Sunday
A major new novel from the Nobel Prize-winning author of Waiting for the Barbarians, The Life & Times of Michael K and Disgrace Nobel laureate and two-time Booker Prize winner J. M. Coetzee returns with a haunting and surprising novel about childhood and destiny that is sure to rank with his classic novels. Separated from his mother as a passenger on a boat bound for a new land, David is a boy who is quite literally adrift. The piece of paper explaining his situation is lost, but a fellow passenger, Simón, vows to look after the boy. When the boat docks, David and Simón are issued new names, new birthdays, and virtually a whole new life. Strangers in a strange land, knowing nothing of their surroundings, nor the language or customs, they are determined to find David's mother. Though the boy has no memory of her, Simón is certain he will recognize her at first sight. "But after we find her," David asks, "what are we here for?" An eerie allegorical tale told largely through dialogue, The Childhood of Jesus is a literary feat--a novel of ideas that is also a tender, compelling narrative. Coetzee's many fans will celebrate his return while new readers will find The Childhood of Jesus an intriguing introduction to the work of a true master.
A new work of fiction by the Nobel Prize winning author of "Disgrace". In this brilliant new work of fiction, J. M. Coetzee once again breaks new literary ground with a book that is, in the words of its main character, a response to the present in which I find myself. "Diary of a Bad Year" takes on the world of politics -- a new topic for Coetzee -- and explores the role of the writer in our times with an extraordinary moral compass. At the center of the book is Señor C, an aging author who has been asked to write his thoughts on the state of the world by his German publisher. These thoughts, called 'Strong Opinions', address a wide range of subjects and include a scathing indictment of Bush, Cheney, and Blair, as well as a witheringly honest examination of everything from Machiavelli and the current state of the university to music, literature, and intelligent design, offering unexpected perceptions and insightful arguments along the way. Meanwhile, someone new enters the writer's life: Anya, the beautiful young woman whom he hires to type his manuscript. The relationship that develops between Señor C and Anya has a profound effect on both of them. It also changes the course of Anya's relationship with Alan, the successful, swaggering man whom she lives with -- and who has designs on Señor C's bank account. Through these characters, Coetzee creates an ingenious literary game that will enthrall readers and surprise them with its emotional power.
A heartbreaking novel about a man and his daughter, Disgrace is a portrait of the new South Africa that is ultimately about grace and love. At fifty-two, Professor David Lurie is divorced, filled with desire but lacking passion. An affair with one of his students leaves him jobless and friendless, except for his daughter, Lucy, who works her small holding with her neighbor, Petrus, an African farmer now on the way to a modest prosperity. David's attempts to relate to Lucy, and to a society with new racial complexities, are disrupted by an afternoon of violence that changes him and his daughter in ways he could never have foreseen. In this wry, visceral, yet strangely tender novel, Coetzee once again tells "truths [that] cut to the bone" (The New York Time Book Review).
In 1982, J. M. Coetzee dazzled the literary world with the now classic Waiting for the Barbarians. Five novels and two Booker prizes later, Coetzee is a writer of international stature and a novelist whose publication of a new work is heralded as a literary event. Now, in his first work of fiction since The New York Times bestselling Disgrace, he has crafted an unusual and deeply affecting tale. Elizabeth Costello is a distinguished and aging Australian novelist whose life is revealed through an ingenious series of eight formal addresses. From an award-acceptance speech at a New England liberal arts college to a lecture on evil in Amsterdam and a sexually charged reading by the poet Robert Duncan, Coetzee draws the reader inexorably toward its astonishing conclusion. Vividly imagined and masterfully wrought in his unerring prose, Elizabeth Costello is, on its surface, the story of a woman's life as mother, sister, lover, and writer. Yet it is also a profound and haunting meditation on the nature of storytelling that only a writer of Coetzee's caliber could accomplish.
Elizabeth Costello es una reconocida novelista australiana cuya dilatada vida se nos revela a través de una ingeniosa serie de ocho conferencias. Desde el discurso de aceptación de un premio en una facultad de letras de Nueva Inglaterra y una conferencia sobre el mal celebrada en Amsterdam, hasta una lectura del poeta Robert Duncan plena de alusiones sexuales, Coetzee conduce al lector inexorablemente hacia un final que, como es habitual en este autor, nos impulsa a la reflexión más profunda.Fruto de una imaginación vívida y escrita en una prosa certera, Elizabeth Costello es, en apariencia, la historia de una mujer en su faceta de madre, hermana, amante y escritora. Pero es también una incisiva y cautivadora meditación sobre la esencia de narrar historias, y una defensa de la necesidad de ponerse en lugar del otro para comprender que la humanidad es única. Solo un escritor de la talla de Coetzee puede llevar a cabo dicha tarea.«El surafricano J. M. Coetzee es uno de los mejores novelistas vivos y no digo el mejor porque, para hacer una afirmación semejante, habría que haberlos leído a todos.»MARIO VARGAS LLOSA
Learning to survive in the harsh interior of Southern Africa, a former slave seeks shelter in the hollow of a baobab tree. For the first time since she was a young girl her time is her own, her body is her own, her thoughts are her own. In solitude, she is finally able to reflect on her own existence and its meaning, bringing her a semblance of inner peace. Scenes from her former life shuttle through her mind: how owner after owner assaulted her, and how each of her babies were taken away as soon as they were weaned, their futures left to her imagination. We are the sole witnesses to her history: her capture as a child, her tortured days in a harbor city on the eastern coast as a servant, her journey with her last owner and protector, her flight, and the kaleidoscopic world of her baobab tree. Wilma Stockenström's profound work of narrative fiction, translated by Nobel Prize winner J.M. Coetzee, is a rare, haunting exploration of enslavement and freedom. From the Trade Paperback edition.
'A small miracle of a book ... of marvellous intricacy and overwhelming power' - The Washington Post Book World. Coetzee reinvents the story of Robinson Crusoe, directing our attention to the seduction and tyranny of storytelling itself.
J.M. Coetzee presents a coherent, unorthodox analysis of censorship from the perspective of one who has lived and worked under its shadow. The essays collected here attempt to understand the passion that plays itself out in acts of silencing and censoring. He argues that a destructive dynamic of belligerence and escalation tends to overtake the rivals in any field ruled by censorship.
"[A] civilized discourse between two cultivated and sophisticated men. . . . It's a pleasure to be in their company." --Michael Dirda, The Washington Post After a meeting at an Australian literary festival brought them together in 2008, novelists Paul Auster and J. M. Coetzee began exchanging letters on a regular basis with the hope they might "strike sparks off each other." Here and Now is the result: a three-year epistolary dialogue that touches on nearly every subject, from sports to fatherhood, literature to film, philosophy to politics, from the financial crisis to art, death, eroticism, marriage, friendship, and love. Their high-spirited and luminous correspondence offers an intimate and often amusing portrait of these two men as they explore the complexities of the here and now and reveal their pleasure in each other's friendship on every page.
On a remote farm in South Africa, the protagonist of J. M. Coetzee's fierce and passionate novel watches the life from which she has been excluded. Ignored by her callous father, scorned and feared by his servants, she is a bitterly intelligent woman whose outward meekness disguises a desperate resolve not to become "one of the forgotten ones of history." When her father takes an African mistress, that resolve precipitates an act of vengeance that suggests a chemical reaction between the colonizer and the colonized--and between European yearnings and the vastness and solitude of Africa. A story told in prose as feverishly rich as William Faulkner's, In the Heart of the Country is a work of irresistable power. With vast assurance and an unerring eye, J. M. Coetzee has turned the family romance into a mirror of the colonial experience.
In a south Africa torn by war, Michael K. sets out to take his ailing mother back to her rural home. On the way there she dies, leaving him alone in an anarchic world of brutal roving armies. Imprisoned, Michael is unable to bear confinement and escapes, determined to live with dignity. This life affirming novel goes to the center of human experience-the need for an interior, spiritual life; for some connections to the world in which we live; and for purity of vision.
The idea of human cruelty to animals so consumes novelist Elizabeth Costello in her later years that she can no longer look another person in the eye: humans, especially meat-eating ones, seem to her to be conspirators in a crime of stupefying magnitude taking place on farms and in slaughterhouses, factories, and laboratories across the world.Costello's son, a physics professor, admires her literary achievements, but dreads his mother's lecturing on animal rights at the college where he teaches. His colleagues resist her argument that human reason is overrated and that the inability to reason does not diminish the value of life; his wife denounces his mother's vegetarianism as a form of moral superiority.At the dinner that follows her first lecture, the guests confront Costello with a range of sympathetic and skeptical reactions to issues of animal rights, touching on broad philosophical, anthropological, and religious perspectives. Painfully for her son, Elizabeth Costello seems offensive and flaky, but--dare he admit it?--strangely on target.Here the internationally renowned writer J. M. Coetzee uses fiction to present a powerfully moving discussion of animal rights in all their complexity. He draws us into Elizabeth Costello's own sense of mortality, her compassion for animals, and her alienation from humans, even from her own family. In his fable, presented as a Tanner Lecture sponsored by the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University, Coetzee immerses us in a drama reflecting the real-life situation at hand: a writer delivering a lecture on an emotionally charged issue at a prestigious university. Literature, philosophy, performance, and deep human conviction--Coetzee brings all these elements into play.As in the story of Elizabeth Costello, the Tanner Lecture is followed by responses treating the reader to a variety of perspectives, delivered by leading thinkers in different fields. Coetzee's text is accompanied by an introduction by political philosopher Amy Gutmann and responsive essays by religion scholar Wendy Doniger, primatologist Barbara Smuts, literary theorist Marjorie Garber, and moral philosopher Peter Singer, author of Animal Liberation. Together the lecture-fable and the essays explore the palpable social consequences of uncompromising moral conflict and confrontation.
The Nobel Prize-winning author's brilliant trilogy of fictionalized memoirs--now available in one volume for the first timeFew writers have won as much critical acclaim and as many admirers in the literary world as J. M. Coetzee. Yet the celebrated author rarely spoke of himself until the 1997 arrival of Boyhood, a masterly and evocative tale of a young writer's beginnings. Continuing with the fiercely tender Youth and the innovative Summertime, Scenes from Provincial Life is a heartbreaking and often very funny portrait of the artist by one of the world's greatest writers.
J.M. Coetzee, one of the greatest living writers in the English language, has crafted a deeply moving tale of love and mortality in his new book, Slow Man. When photographer Paul Rayment loses his leg in a bicycle accident, he is forced to reexamine how he has lived his life. Through Paul's story, Coetzee addresses questions that define us all: What does it mean to do good? What in our lives is ultimately meaningful? How do we define the place we call "home"? In his clear and uncompromising voice, Coetzee struggles with these issues and offers a story that will dazzle the reader on every page.
"Not since Disgrace, has he written with such urgency and feeling." -The New Yorker. Nobel Prize-winning author J. M. Coetzee's new book follows a young biographer as he works on a book about the late writer, John Coetzee. The biographer embarks on a series of interviews with people who were important to Coetzee during the period when he was "finding his feet as a writer"-in his thirties and sharing a run-down cottage in the suburbs of Cape Town with his widowed father. Their testimonies create an image of an awkward, reserved, and bookish young man who finds it difficult to connect with the people around him. An innovative and inspired work of fiction--incisive, elegant, and often surprisingly funny-- Summertime allows one of the most revered writers of our time to imagine his own life with a critical and unsparing eye.
Hurtle Duffield, a painter, coldly dissects the weaknesses of any and all who enter his circle. His sister's deformity, a grocer's moonlight indiscretion, the passionate illusions of the women who love him-all are used as fodder for his art. It is only when Hurtle meets an egocentric adolescent whom he sees as his spiritual child does he experience a deeper, more treacherous emotion in this tour de force of sexual and psychological menace that sheds brutally honest light on the creative experience.
The story is about a magistrate who leads a comfortable and peaceful life until it turns topsy-turvy on the arrival of a Colonel who tries to discipline the passive barbarians.
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