Diary of a Bad Year
By J. M. Coetzee
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143114482, 240pp.)
Publication Date: October 28, 2008
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).
Born in Cape Town, South Africa, on February 9, 1940, John Michael Coetzee studied first at Cape Town and later at the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned a Ph.D. degree in literature. In 1972 he returned to South Africa and joined the faculty of the University of Cape Town. His works of fiction include Dusklands, Waiting for the Barbarians, which won South Africa’s highest literary honor, the Central News Agency Literary Award, and the Life and Times of Michael K., for which Coetzee was awarded his first Booker Prize in 1983. He has also published a memoir, Boyhood: Scenes From a Provincial Life, and several essays collections. He has won many other literary prizes including the Lannan Award for Fiction, the Jerusalem Prize and The Irish Times International Fiction Prize. In 1999 he again won Britain’s prestigious Booker Prize for Disgrace, becoming the first author to win the award twice in its 31-year history. In 2003, Coetzee was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.