Booker prize winning novels do not get much better than this effort by the modern master of the understatement, J M Coetzee. Whilst seemingly a story about the disgraceful behaviour of an ageing academic, Disgrace is also a novel that is not reluctant to delve into the politics of post-apartheid South Africa. As with all other Coetzee novels, the stylish prose is sumptuous and glistening with meaning. It is undoubtedly one of Coetzee’s finest novels and a must read for anyone interested in great literature.
J. M. Coetzee - In the Heart of the Country
A novel set in colonial South Africa, where a lonely sheepfarmer makes a bid for private salvation in the arms of a black concubine, while his daughter dreams of and executes a bloody revenge. From the author of DUSKLANDS and WAITING FOR THE BARBARIANS.
J. M. Coetzee - Life & Times of Michael K
In a South Africa torn by civil war, Michael K sets out to take his mother back to her rural home. On the way there she dies, leaving him alone in an anarchic world of brutal roving armies. Imprisoned, Michael is unable to bear confinement and escapes, determined to live with dignity. Life and Times of Michael K goes to the centre of human experience -- the need for an interior, spiritual life, for some connections to the world in which we live, and for purity of vision.
J. M. Coetzee - Diary of a Bad Year
A new work of fiction by the Nobel Prize–winning author of Disgrace In this brilliant new work of fiction, J. M. Coetzee once again breaks new literary ground with a book that is, in the words of its main character, “a response to the present in which I find myself.” 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. At the center of the book is “Señor C,” an aging author who has been asked to write his thoughts on the state of the world by his German publisher. These thoughts, called “Strong Opinions,” address a wide range of subjects and include a scathing indictment of Bush, Cheney, and Blair, as well as a witheringly honest examination of everything from Machiavelli and the current state of the university to music, literature, and intelligent design, offering unexpected perceptions and insightful arguments along the way. Meanwhile, someone new enters the writer’s life: Anya, the beautiful young woman whom he hires to type his manuscript. The relationship that develops between Señor C and Anya has a profound effect on both of them. It also changes the course of Anya’s relationship with Alan, the successful, swaggering man whom she lives with—and who has designs on Señor C’s bank account. Through these characters, Coetzee creates an ingenious literary game that will enthrall readers and surprise them with its emotional power. Bold, funny, and sad, as well as intellectually clever and satisfying, Diary of a Bad Year is a journey into the mind and heart of one of the world’s most acclaimed and accomplished writers.
J. M. Coetzee - The Master of Petersburg
In The Master of Petersburg J. M. Coetzee dares to imagine the life of Dostoevsky. Set in 1869, when Dostoevsky was summoned from Germany to St Petersburg by the sudden death of his stepson, this novel is at once a compelling mystery steeped in the atmosphere of pre-revolutionary Russia and a brilliant and courageous meditation on authority and rebellion, art and imagination. Dostoevsky is seen obsessively following his stepson's ghost, trying to ascertain whether he was a suicide or a murder victim and whether he loved or despised his stepfather.
J. M. Coetzee - Age of Iron
In Cape Town, South Africa, an old woman is dying of cancer. A classics professor, Mrs. Curren has been opposed to the lies and brutality of apartheid all her life, but has lived insulated from its true horrors. Now she is suddenly forced to come to terms with the iron-hearted rage that the system has wrought. In an extended letter addressed to her daughter, who has long since fled to America, Mrs. Curren recounts the strange events of her dying days. She witnesses the burning of a nearby black township and discovers the bullet-riddled body of her servant's son. A teenage black activist hiding in her house is killed by security forces. And through it all, her only companion, the only person to whom she can confess her mounting anger and despair, is a homeless man, an alcoholic, who one day appears on her doorstep. Brilliantly crafted and resonant with metaphor, Age of Iron is "a superbly realized novel whose truths cut to the bone." (The New York Times Book Review)
J. M. Coetzee - Dusklands
A novel which combines the stories of an 18th-century Boer frontiersman and a 20th-century specialist in psychological warfare. Both are in the business of pushing back the frontiers of knowledge and are dealers in death. From the author of IN THE HEART OF THE COUNTRY and MASTER OF PETERSBURG. First published in 1982.
J. M. Coetzee - Slow Man
. M. Coetzee , one of the greatest living writers in the English language, has crafted a deeply moving tale of love and mortality in his new book, Slow Man. When photographer Paul Rayment loses his leg in a bicycle accident, he is forced to reexamine how he has lived his life. Through Paul’s story, Coetzee addresses questions that define us all: What does it mean to do good? What in our lives is ultimately meaningful? How do we define the place we call "home"? In his clear and uncompromising voice, Coetzee struggles with these issues and offers a story that will dazzle the reader on every page.
J. M. Coetzee - Foe (angol)
With the same electrical intensity of language and insight that he brought to Waiting for the Barbarians and The Master of Petersburg, J.M. Coetzee reinvents the story of Robinson Crusoe - and in so doing, directs our attention to the seduction and tyranny of storytelling itself. In 1720 the eminent man of letters Daniel Foe is approached by Susan Barton, lately a castaway on a desert island. She wants him to tell her story, and that of the enigmatic man who has become her rescuer, companion, master and sometime lover: Cruso. Cruso is dead, and his manservant, Friday, is incapable of speech. As she tries to relate the truth about him, the ambitious Barton cannot help turning Cruso into her invention. For as narrated by Foe - as by Coetzee himself - the stories we thought we know acquire depths that are at once treacherous, elegant, and unexpectedly moving.
J. M. Coetzee - Elizabeth Costello (angol)
In 1982, J. M. Coetzee dazzled the literary world with the now classic Waiting for the Barbarians. Five novels and two Booker prizes later, Coetzee is a writer of international stature and a novelist whose publication of a new work is heralded as a literary event. Now, in his first work of fiction since The New York Times bestselling Disgrace, he has crafted an unusual and deeply affecting tale. Elizabeth Costello is a distinguished and aging Australian novelist whose life is revealed through an ingenious series of eight formal addresses. From an award-acceptance speech at a New England liberal arts college to a lecture on evil in Amsterdam and a sexually charged reading by the poet Robert Duncan, Coetzee draws the reader inexorably toward its astonishing conclusion. Vividly imagined and masterfully wrought in his unerring prose, Elizabeth Costello is, on its surface, the story of a woman's life as mother, sister, lover, and writer. Yet it is also a profound and haunting meditation on the nature of storytelling that only a writer of Coetzee's caliber could accomplish.
J. M. Coetzee - The Lives of Animals
"Coetzee stirs our imaginations by confronting us with an articulate, intelligent, aging, and increasingly alienated novelist who cannot help but be exasperated with her fellow human beings, many of them academics, who are unnecessarily cruel to animals, and apparently (but not admittedly) committed to cruelty. The story urges us to reconceive our devotion to reason as a universal value."--From the introduction by Amy Gutmann The idea of human cruelty to animals so consumes novelist Elizabeth Costello in her later years that she can no longer look another person in the eye: humans, especially meat-eating ones, seem to her to be conspirators in a crime of stupefying magnitude taking place on farms and in slaughterhouses, factories, and laboratories across the world. Costello's son, a physics professor, admires her literary achievements, but dreads his mother's lecturing on animal rights at the college where he teaches. His colleagues resist her argument that human reason is overrated and that the inability to reason does not diminish the value of life; his wife denounces his mother's vegetarianism as a form of moral superiority. At the dinner that follows her first lecture, the guests confront Costello with a range of sympathetic and skeptical reactions to issues of animal rights, touching on broad philosophical, anthropological, and religious perspectives. Painfully for her son, Elizabeth Costello seems offensive and flaky, but--dare he admit it?--strangely on target. Here the internationally renowned writer J. M. Coetzee uses fiction to present a powerfully moving discussion of animal rights in all their complexity. He draws us into Elizabeth Costello's own sense of mortality, her compassion for animals, and her alienation from humans, even from her own family. In his fable, presented as a Tanner Lecture sponsored by the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University, Coetzee immerses us in a drama reflecting the real-life situation at hand: a writer delivering a lecture on an emotionally charged issue at a prestigious university. Literature, philosophy, performance, and deep human conviction--Coetzee brings all these elements into play. As in the story of Elizabeth Costello, the Tanner Lecture is followed by responses treating the reader to a variety of perspectives, delivered by leading thinkers in different fields. Coetzee's text is accompanied by an introduction by political philosopher Amy Gutmann and responsive essays by religion scholar Wendy Doniger, primatologist Barbara Smuts, literary theorist Marjorie Garber, and moral philosopher Peter Singer, author of Animal Liberation. Together the lecture-fable and the essays explore the palpable social consequences of uncompromising moral conflict and confrontation.
Doris Lessing - The Fifth Child
Four children, a beautiful old house, the love of relatives and friends; Harriet and David Lovatt's life is a glorious hymn to domestic bliss and old-fashioned family values. But when their fifth child is born, a sickly and implacable shadow is cast over this tender idyll. Large and ugly, violent and uncontrollable, the infant Ben, "full of cold dislike", tears at Harriet's breast. Struggling to care for her new-born child, faced with a darkness and a strange defiance she has never known before, Harriet is deeply afraid of what, exactly, she has brought into the world...
Iris Murdoch - The Black Prince
"The Black Prince" is both a remarkable thriller and a story about being in love. Bradley Pearson, narrator and hero, is an elderly writer with a 'block'. Finding himself surrounded by predatory friends and relations - his ex-wife, her delinquent brother, a younger, deplorably successful writer, Arnold Baffin, Baffin's restless wife and engaging daughter - Bradley attempts to escape. His failure to do so and its aftermath lead to a violent climax and a most unexpected conclusion.
Jeffrey Eugenides - The Virgin Suicides
First published in 1993, "The Virgin Suicides" announced the arrival of a major new American novelist. In a quiet suburb of Detroit, the five Lisbon sisters--beautiful, eccentric, and obsessively watched by the neighborhood boys--commit suicide one by one over the course of a single year. As the boys observe them from afar, transfixed, they piece together the mystery of the family's fatal melancholy, in this hypnotic and unforgettable novel of adolescent love, disquiet, and death. Jeffrey Eugenides evokes the emotions of youth with haunting sensitivity and dark humor and creates a coming-of-age story unlike any of our time. Adapted into a critically acclaimed film by Sofia Coppola, "The Virgin Suicides" is a modern classic, a lyrical and timeless tale of sex and suicide that transforms and mythologizes suburban middle-American life.
Mario Vargas Llosa - A Kecske ünnepe
Urania Cabral harmincöt év után látogat vissza "hazájába", a Dominikai Köztársaságba, pedig megfogadta, hogy soha többé be nem teszi a lábát erre a "vacak kis szigetre". De mégis látni akarja még egyszer utoljára azt a béna emberi roncsot, mellyé az egykor oly nagy hatalmú apja változott... Nem megbocsátani akar neki, mert úgy érzi, az apja bűnére nincs bocsánat, hanem a bűnhődését látni: magatehetetlen szenvedését, a riadt tekintetét, amikor szemére olvassa egykori tetteit. Urania látszólag sikeres életet él: jó nevű jogász az Egyesült Államokban, s még most, negyvenkilenc évesen is kívánatos nő - csakhogy férfi soha nem érintette a testét azóta a szörnyű éjszaka óta, amikor Trujillo, a Kecske, Dominika diktátora egy szűz kislány testével akarta felgerjeszteni lankadó vágyait... Miközben Urania újra találkozik apjával és rokonaival, visszatérünk az 1961-es esztendőbe, amikor Trujillót meggyilkolták, és Vargas Llosa borzongatóan eleven képet fest egy diktatúra hétköznapjairól, elénk varázsolva a rendszert kiszolgáló és a zsarnoksággal különböző okokból szembeszálló alakokat... és persze magát Trujillót, aki élet és halál ura a szigeten, de a minisztereivel folytatott megbeszéléseken folyton a nadrágját nézi, nincs-e ott árulkodó vizeletfolt, mert egyedül saját testének nem tud parancsolni... és a történelemnek, amely éppúgy elsöpri őt is, mint más aljas, perverz diktátorokat, akik önmagukat isteni hatalommal ruházzák fel.
J. M. Coetzee - Michael K élete és kora
A Michael K élete és kora az irodalmi Nobel-díjas író, Coetzee hazájában, Dél-Afrikában játszódik, egy fiktív polgárháború idején. Michael K próbál kívülálló maradni, mégis olyan dolgokon kell keresztülmennie, melyeket rajta kívül nem sokan élnének túl. A groteszk, ironikus látásmódon kívül számos utalás köti a regényt Kafka műveihez. A végkicsengés mégis pozitív, azt sugallja, hogy mindig van remény, és így vagy úgy, de elérhető a szabadság.
Paul Auster - Invisible
Sinuously constructed in four interlocking parts, Invisible opens in New York City in the spring of 1967 when twenty-year-old Adam Walker, an aspiring poet and student at Columbia University meets the enigmatic Frenchman Rudolf Born, and his silent and seductive girlfriend Margot. Before long, Walker finds himself caught in a perverse triangle that leads to a sudden, shocking act of violence that will alter the course of his life. Three different narrators tell the story, as it travels in time from 1967 to 2007 and moves from New York to Paris and to a remote Caribbean island in a story of unbridled sexual hunger and a relentless quest for justice. With uncompromising insight, Auster takes us to the shadowy borderland between truth and memory, authorship and identity to produce a work of unforgettable power that confirms his reputation as one of America's most spectacularly inventive writers.
Yann Martel - Life of Pi
After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, one solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific.The crew of the surviving vessel consists of a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan, a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger and Pi - a 16-year-old Indian boy.The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary pieces of literary fiction of recent years. Yann Martel's Life of Pi is a transformative novel, a dazzling work of imagination that will delight and astound readers in equal measure. It is a triumph of storytelling and a tale that will, as one character puts it, make you believe in God.
Tibor Fischer - Voyage to the End of the Room
The award-winning, critically acclaimed author, Tibor Fischer, at his most inventive--a ferociously funny, perfectly paced, deliciously raunchy novel that makes you laugh and think. Oceane, successful computer graphics designer and former erotic dancer, likes to travel, but doesn't like to go out; in fact, she never leaves home. She satisfies her wanderlust by bringing the world to her South London flat, using courier, satellite, radio, the Internet, and accommodating globetrotters making virtual visits to Panama, Istanbul, and Tokyo. Her meticulously constructed lifestyle suits her until she receives a letter from an ex-an ex who died ten years ago. She is forced into action and seeks out the help of Audley--failed mercenary, former personal trainer, and proprietor of the Dun Waitin Debt Collection Agency. When the first letter is followed by a string of missives, Oceane has to start searching the world to understand her past. Tibor Fischer's new novel is Robinson Crusoe and Treasure Island updated for the 21st century, weaving from the sex clubs of Barcelona, to the battlefields of Yugoslavia, to the deadly diving of Chuuk Lagoon. Combining his trademark sardonic wit and offbeat imaginative flair, Voyage to the End of the Room is Tibor Fischer in top form: a compelling page-turner that is at once a brilliant and darkly hilarious meditation on a random world; on what you can know, what evil looks like, why ketchup may be among a soldier's most important equipment, and how bubble gum can be used to collect on old debts.
J. M. Coetzee - A barbárokra várva
A 2003-ban irodalmi Nobel-díjjal kitüntetett dél-afrikai író regénye 1980-ban látott napvilágot. A történetet egyes szám első személyben meséli el a szerző; a főszereplő egy elképzelt birodalom határvidékén található erődváros bírója. Egy napon váratlan esemény zavarja meg az erődítmény lakóinak az életét: a fővárosból Joll ezredes vezetésével küldöttség érkezik, amelynek feladata, hogy felmérje a határvidék békéjét állítólagosan megzavaró barbárok mozgását. A bíró kissé értetlenül áll az események előtt, hiszen több éve ő felel a városbana rendért, és soha nem tapasztalt túlkapásokat a barbároknak nevezett, de valójában békés, a határvidéken túl élő benszülöttek részéről. Törvénytisztelő polgárként együttműködik a Birodalom képviselőjével, de amikor az ártatlan nomádokat hurcol a város terére, megalázza és halálra kínozza őket, a bírónak elege lesz a színjátékból. Az ezredes távozását követően maga mellé veszi az egyik megkínzott lányt, majd egy koratavaszi napon úgy dönt, hogy katonái kíséretében visszaviszi őt a nomádok közé. A hosszú, fáradtságos út után ismét Joll ezredes fogadja a városban. A katonák vallomása alapján a Birodalom elleni összeesküvéssel és a barbárokkal való szövetkezéssel vádolják, majd válogatott módszerekkel kínozzák, embertársai előtt a végletekig megalázzák. Coetzee története örökérvényű kérdéseket feszeget. A mesterségesen kreált külső fenyegetettség és az állami terror általi konfliktuson túl mesterien festi meg az egyéni értékrendek és szemléletek párbaját. Rendkivül érzékletesen ábrázolja a regényben mindvégig uralkodó ellentétet: Joll ezredes (és a Birodalom képviselői) számára az érdek által vezérelt birodalmi igazság terjesztése a fontos, és ezt szolgálja az orwelli diktatórikusságot alkalmazó államgépezet és törvényei, rendelkezései – a bíró az egyéni tisztaságával, tiszta lelkiismeretével, erkölcsi erejével áll szembe mindezzel. A regény 1980-ban született; a történet, a birodalmi terjeszkedés, az eszmék és a módszerek ismerősnek tűnhetnek úgy a közelmúltból, mint a mindennapjainból – és ez utóbbi ijesztő. A 20. század történelme sajnos számos példával alátámasztja azt, amit Coetzee állít, elég ha a hitleri birodalomra vagy a szovjet államgépezetre gondolunk – de a külső fenyegetettség veszélyének állandó ismétlése napjainkban is ismerősen hangzik, a rabok kínzása és megalázása helyenként ma is az állami szervek fedése alatt történik, és ma is kevés olyan bíró létezik, aki feltenné a kérdést: kik az igazi barbárok?
Stephen King - The Shining
The Overlook Hotel is more than just a home-away-from-home for the Torrance family. For Jack, Wendy, and their young son, Danny, it is a place where past horrors come to life. And where those gifted with the shining do battle with the darkest evils. Stephen King's classic thriller is one of the most powerfully imagined novels of our time.