Elizabeth Costello is a writer of international renown. Famous for an early novel from which, it seems, she will never escape, she has reached the stage where her remaining function is to be venerated and applauded. What matters to her is the search for a means of articulating her vision.
After crossing oceans, a man and a boy arrive in a new land. Here they are each assigned a name and an age, and held in a camp in the desert while they learn Spanish, the language of their new country. As Simon and David they make their way to the relocation centre in the city of Novilla, where officialdom treats them politely but not necessarily helpfully. Simon finds a job in a grain wharf. The work is unfamiliar and backbreaking, but he soon warms to his stevedore comrades, who during breaks conduct philosophical dialogues on the dignity of labour, and generally take him to their hearts. Now he must set about his task of locating the boy''s mother. Though like everyone else who arrives in this new country he seems to be washed clean of all traces of memory, he is convinced he will know her when he sees her. And indeed, while walking with the boy in the countryside Simon catches sight of a woman he is certain is the mother, and persuades her to assume the role. David''s new mother comes to realise that he is an exceptional child, a bright, dreamy boy with highly unusual ideas about the world. But the school authorities detect a rebellious streak in him and insist he be sent to a special school far away. His mother refuses to yield him up, and it is Simon who must drive the car as the trio flees across the mountains. THE CHILDHOOD OF JESUS is a profound, beautiful and continually surprising novel from a very great writer.
Unflinching in its vision of suffering and generous in its portrayal of the spirit of care, 'Slow Man' is a masterful work of fiction by one of the world's greatest writers.
A 72-year-old Australian writer encounters an alluring woman in his apartment block. When he discovers she is 'between jobs' he claims failing eyesight and offers her work typing up his manuscript. Anya has no interest in politics but the job provides a distraction, as does the writer's evident and not unwelcome attraction toward her.
LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2016 Selected as a Book of the Year 2016 in the Observer and Daily Telegraph When you travel across the ocean on a boat, all your memories are washed away and you start a completely new life. That is how it is. There is no before. There is no history. The boat docks at the harbour and we climb down the gangplank and we are plunged into the here and now. Time begins. David is the small boy who is always asking questions. Simon and Ines take care of him in their new town Estrella. He is learning the language; he has begun to make friends. He has the big dog Bolivar to watch over him. But he''ll be seven soon and he should be at school. And so, David is enrolled in the Academy of Dance. It''s here, in his new golden dancing slippers, that he learns how to call down the numbers from the sky. But it''s here too that he will make troubling discoveries about what grown-ups are capable of. In this mesmerising allegorical tale, Coetzee deftly grapples with the big questions of growing up, of what it means to be a parent, the constant battle between intellect and emotion, and how we choose to live our lives.
A fascinating dialogue on the human inclination to make up stories between a Nobel Prize-winning writer and a psychotherapist. Arabella Kurtz and J. M. Coetzee consider psychotherapy and its wider social context from different perspectives, but at the heart of both their approaches is a concern with stories. Working alone, the writer is in sole charge of the story he or she tells. The therapist, on the other hand, collaborates with the patient in telling the story of their life. What kind of truth do the stories created by patient and therapist aim to uncover: objective truth or the shifting and subjective truth of memories explored and re-experienced in the safety of the therapeutic relationship? The authors discuss both individual psychology and the psychology of the group: the school classroom, the gang, the settler nation where the brutal deeds of the ancestors have to be accommodated into a national story. Drawing on great writers like Cervantes and Dostoevsky and on psychoanalysts like Freud and Melanie Klein, they offer illuminating insights into the stories we tell of our lives.