When photographer Paul Rayment loses his leg in a bicycle accident, his solitary life is irrevocably changed whether he likes it or not. Stubbornly refusing a prosthesis, Paul returns to his bachelors apartment in Adelaide, Australia, uncomfortable with his new dependency on others. He is given to bouts of hopelessness and resignation as he looks back on his sixty years of life, but his spirits are lifted when he finds himself falling in love with Marijana, his practical, down-to-earth Croatian nurse who is struggling to raise her family in a foreign land. As Paul contemplates how to win her heart, he is visited by the mysterious writer Elizabeth Costello, who challenges Paul to take an active role in his own life.
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'It could have been a good book...But because of one particular plot device....the novel refuses to sail very high in the water...at a cost for the good of the novel, Coetzee ushers onto the stage the eponymous character from his previous novel, Elizabeth Costello.' - PW.
'Where is the author of Waiting for the Barbarians and Disgrace, now that we need him most?' - Kirkus.
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