An ingenious new work of fiction from the Nobel Prize winning author of Disgrace
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).
J. M. Coetzee's 2003 novel Elizabeth Costello opens with a bold announcement: "We have left behind the territory in which we were. We are in the far territory, where we want to be." In Diary of a Bad Year, it is safe to say we are still there. Taken together with 2005's Slow Man, Coetzee's most recent novels form a strange conceptual trilogy: he seems to have abandoned the familiar shores on which he built his Nobel Prizewinning reputation to engage with the more troubling underside of his vocation. There is, beneath the increasingly experimental turn in Coetzee's 21st-century incarnation, a sort of extreme ethical urgency about what exactly, if anything, fiction can offer.