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Diary of a Bad Year is an utterly contemporary work of fiction from one of our greatest writers and deepest thinkers. It addresses the profound unease of countless people in democracies across the world.
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Published: 02 October 2008
Genre: General & literary fiction
An eminent, ageing Australian writer is invited to contribute to a book entitled Strong Opinions. For him, troubled by Australia's complicity in the wars in the Middle East,it is a chance to air some urgent concerns: how should a citizen of a modern democracy react to their state's involvement in an immoral war on terror, a war that involves the use of torture?Then in the laundry room of his apartment block he encounters an alluring young woman. He offers her work typing up his manuscript. Anya is not interested in politics, but the job will be a welcome distraction, as will the writer's evident attraction towards her. Her boyfriend, Alan, is an investment consultant who understands the world in harsh economic terms. Suspicious of his trophy girlfriend's new pastime, Alan begins to formulate a plan...
The work of a master
You must read this book
Independent on Sunday
Coetzee is redrawing the contours of the novel and taking it places that it has rarely been before... Exhilarating
Complex and ultimately moving
I personally think Diary of a Bad Year is Coetzee’s most interesting book of the ones that I’ve read, but not his best. Well, just not his most effective; there’s always the question of how effective Coetzee wants it to be. After all, in keeping with the fact that the essays have barely any conclusion, JC, the old protagonist, doesn’t sign off so much as is cut-off. Anya, his beautiful young secretary, does sign off. Anya has the time to finish with the book, but old JC doesn’t: it’s like life. And, after all, how effective is life as a book?
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Winner of the 1948 James Tait Black Memorial Prize and considered one of the best English language novels of the twentieth century.
J.M. Coetzee's work includes Waiting For the Barbarians, Life & Times of Michael K, Boyhood, Youth, Disgrace and Diary of a Bad Year. He was the first author to win the Booker Prize twice and was awarded ...