Diary of a Bad Year: Book summary and reviews of Diary of a Bad Year by J. M. Coetzee

Diary of a Bad Year

by J. M. Coetzee

Diary of a Bad Year
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  • Published in USA  Dec 2007
    240 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"While C's essays, especially the later ones inspired by Anya, hold some interest, this follow-up to Slow Year is not one of Coetzee's major efforts." - PW.

"Nobel prize winner Coetzee's thought-provoking and cerebral novel is recommended" - Library Journal.

"There's something wrong with a novel in which a twisted, exploitative sexual relationship is far less interesting than are dozens of pages of discursive commentary. But that's the new, improved Coetzee for you. Maybe we should blame the Swedish Academy." - Kirkus Reviews.

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Author Information

J. M. Coetzee Author Biography

John Maxwell Coetzee was born in Cape Town, South Africa, on February 9, 1940.

Coetzee received his primary schooling in Cape Town and in the nearby town of Worcester. For his secondary education he attended a school in Cape Town run by a Catholic order, the Marist Brothers. He matriculated in 1956.

Coetzee entered the University of Cape Town in 1957, and in 1960 and 1961 graduated successively with honours degrees in English and mathematics. He spent the years 1962–65 in England, working as a computer programmer while doing research for a thesis on the English novelist Ford Madox Ford. In 1963 he married Philippa Jubber (1939–1991). They had two children, Nicolas (1966–1989) and Gisela (b. 1968).

In 1965 Coetzee entered the graduate school of the University of Texas at ...

... Full Biography

Name Pronunciation
J. M. Coetzee: kuut-SEE (different pronunciations can be found, but this is how Coetzee himself pronounces it)

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