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…
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 - 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 - 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.
Kazuo Ishiguro - Never Let Me Go
From the Booker Prize-winning author of The Remains of the Day comes a devastating new novel of innocence, knowledge, and loss. As children Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life. And for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special–and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together. Suspenseful, moving, beautifully atmospheric, Never Let Me Go is another classic by the author of The Remains of the Day.
J. M. Coetzee - Disgrace
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 - 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.
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.
Aimee Bender - A citromtorta különös szomorúsága
Kilencedik születésnapjának előestéjén a mit sem sejtő Rose Edelstein, az iskolaudvari játékok és a zaklatott szülői figyelem perifériáján létező kislány beleharap édesanyja házi sütésű csokoládés citromtortájába, és rájön, hogy varázslatos képességgel rendelkezik: a süteményben képes megízlelni az anyja érzéseit. Legnagyobb döbbenetére fedezi fel magában ezt az adottságot, az anyjából ugyanis – az ő életvidám, ügyes kezű, tevékeny édesanyjából – a lemondás és a kétségbeesés íze árad. Az ételek egyszeriben – és életre szólóan – veszedelemmé, fenyegetéssé válnak Rose számára. Bármelyik étkezésnél bármi kiderülhet. A bátyja, Joseph pirítósát képtelen megenni; a sarki pék sütijét harag ízesíti; a szőlődzsem savanyú nehezteléssel teli. Átokkal is felérő adottsága révén a kislány olyan titkos tudás birtokába jut, amit minden család elrejt a világ szeme elől – az édesanyja családon kívüli életét, az édesapja elhidegülését, Joseph hadban állását az egész világgal. Ám Rose felcseperedvén mégis megtanulja hasznosítani ezt az adottságát, és rájön, hogy vannak olyan titkok, melyeket még az ő ízlelőbimbói sem képesek érzékelni. A citromtorta különös szomorúsága sziporkázó mese arról, hogy milyen mérhetetlenül nehéz tiszta szívből szeretni valakit, akiről túlságosan sokat tudunk. A szívszorítóan mulatságos, bölcs és szomorú történet azt bizonyítja, hogy Aimee Bender olyan író, akinek káprázatos prózája a mindennapi élet furcsaságait veszi górcső alá. Aimee Bender két ízben kapott Pushcart-díjat, 2005-ben Tiptreedíjra jelölték. Számtalan antológiában jelentek meg írásai, műveit eddig tíz nyelvre fordították le. Los Angelesben él.
Toni Morrison - Song of Solomon
This is the story of Macon ''Milkman'' Dead, as he makes a voyage of rediscovery, travelling southwards geographically and inwards spiritually. Through the enlightenment of one man the novel recapitulates the history of slavery and liberation.
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.
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Here is a small fact: You are going to die. 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier. Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall. Some important information: This novel is narrated by Death. It's a small story, about: a girl an accordionist some fanatical Germans a Jewish fist fighter and quite a lot of thievery. Another thing you should know: Death will visit the book thief three times...
Haruki Murakami - Kafka on the Shore
Kafka on the Shore follows the fortunes of two remarkable characters. Kafka Tamura runs away from home at fifteen, under the shadow of his father's dark prophesy. The aging Nakata, tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his pleasantly simplified life suddenly turned upside down. Their parallel odysseys are enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerising dramas. Cats converse with people; fish tumble from the sky; a ghostlike pimp deploys a Hegel-spouting girl of the night; a forest harbours soldiers apparently un-aged since WWII. There is a savage killing, but the identity of both victim and killer is a riddle. Murakami's new novel is at once a classic tale of quest, but it is also a bold exploration of mythic and contemporary taboos, of patricide, of mother-love, of sister-love. Above all it is an entertainment of a very high order.
Virginia Woolf - Orlando (angol)
Virginia Woolf's exuberant 'biography' tells the story of the cross-dressing, sex-changing Orlando who begins life as a young noble in the sixteenth century and moves through numerous historical and geographical worlds to finish as a modern woman writer in the 1920s. The book is in part a happy tribute to the 'life' that her love for Vita Sackville-West had breathed into Virginia Woolf's own day-to-day existence; it is also Woolf's light-hearted and light-handed teasing out of the assumptions that lie behind the normal conventions for writing about a fictional or historical life. In this novel, Virginia Woolf plays loose and fast: Orlando uncovers a literary and sexual revolution overnight.
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.
Margaret Atwood - The Handmaid's Tale
A gripping vision of our society radically overturned by a theocratic revolution, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid's Tale has become one of the most powerful and most widely read novels of our time. Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife. She may go out once a day to markets whose signs are now pictures because women are not allowed to read. She must pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, for in a time of declining birthrates her value lies in her fertility, and failure means exile to the dangerously polluted Colonies. Offred can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name. Now she navigates the intimate secrets of those who control her every move, risking her life in breaking the rules. Like Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Handmaid's Tale has endured not only as a literary landmark but as a warning of a possible future that is still chillingly relevant.
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.
Ian McEwan - Atonement
In this rich novel by the author of the Booker Prize-winning novel "Amsterdam", a young girl unwittingly tells a tale that turns her family upside down. Brilliant and utterly enthralling in its depiction of childhood, love and war, England and class, "Atonement" is at its center a profound--and profoundly moving--exploration of shame and forgiveness, of atonement and the difficulty of absolution.