ELIZABETH COSTELLO, eight lessons

: Coetzee (J.M.)

R 215.00
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230 pp., paperback, Reprint, London, (2003) 2004

 

"This novel (as one must call it for want of a better word) requires, and rewards, at least a second reading, but even then its import remains ambiguous, partly because of the way it mixes and transgresses generic conventions. Elizabeth Costello consists of eight chapters and a postscript, though the chapters are called 'Lessons' (whether they are lessons for the central character or for the reader is not made clear—perhaps both). Six of the Lessons have appeared in print before, which is not in itself remarkable, but two of them have been published previously as an independent work, which is unusual. These were the Tanner Lectures, a series dedicated to the discussion of ethical and philosophical topics, which Coetzee gave at Princeton University in 1997–1998, under the title 'The Lives of Animals'." David Lodge, The New York Review of Books

"The best novel I've read this year, a book so bold and so clever that one wants to call it something other than a novel, to take it out of that commonplace genre" Frank Kermode, Times Literary Supplement

J.M. Coetzee’s work includes Waiting for the Barbarians, Life & Times of Michael K, Boyhood, Youth, Disgrace, Summertime and the Jesus Trilogy. He was the first author to win the Booker Prize twice and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2003.