"Why do we human beings typically experience awe...when we try to comprehend, grasp, certain things, such as the origin of space and time, the being of nothingness, the nature of understanding itself? I cannot see what evolutionary advantage this combination gives us--the combination of insufficiency of intellectual grasp together with consciousness that the grasp is insufficient." Page 85— From Jason's Picks
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.
J.M. Coetzee's latest novel, The Schooldays of Jesus, is now available from Viking. Late Essays: 2006-2016 will be available January 2018.
J.M. Coetzee once again breaks literary ground with Diary of a Bad Year, a book that is, in the words of its protagonist, a response to the present in which I find myself. Aging author Senor C has been commissioned to write a series of essays entitled Strong Opinions, of which he has many. After hiring a beautiful young typist named Anya, the two embark on a relationship that will have a profound impact on them both especially when Alan, Anya's no-good boyfriend, develops designs on Senor C's bank account. Told in these three voices simultaneously, Coetzee has created any entirely new way of telling a story, and nothing less than an involving, argumentative, moving novel (The New Yorker).
About the Author
Born in Cape Town, South Africa, on February 9, 1940, John Michael Coetzee studied first at Cape Town and later at the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned a Ph.D. degree in literature. In 1972 he returned to South Africa and joined the faculty of the University of Cape Town. His works of fiction include Dusklands, Waiting for the Barbarians, which won South Africa’s highest literary honor, the Central News Agency Literary Award, and the Life and Times of Michael K., for which Coetzee was awarded his first Booker Prize in 1983. He has also published a memoir, Boyhood: Scenes From a Provincial Life, and several essays collections. He has won many other literary prizes including the Lannan Award for Fiction, the Jerusalem Prize and The Irish Times International Fiction Prize. In 1999 he again won Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize for Disgrace, becoming the first author to win the award twice in its 31-year history. In 2003, Coetzee was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.