Here and Now
Publication Date: March 7, 2013
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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The high-spirited correspondence between New York Times bestselling author Paul Auster and Nobel laureate J. M. Coetzee
Although Paul Auster and J. M. Coetzee had been reading each other’s books for years, the two writers did not meet until February 2008. Not long after, Auster received a letter from Coetzee, suggesting they begin exchanging letters on a regular basis and, “God willing, strike sparks off each other.”
Here and Now is the result of that proposal: the epistolary dialogue between two great writers who became great friends. Over three years their letters touched on nearly every subject, from sports to fatherhood, film festivals to incest, philosophy to politics, from the financial crisis to art, death, family, marriage, friendship, and love.
Their correspondence offers an intimate and often amusing portrait of these two men as they explore the complexities of the here and now and is a reflection of two sharp intellects whose pleasure in each other’s friendship is apparent on every page.
Paul Auster is the bestselling author of The New York Trilogy and many other critically acclaimed novels. He was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize in 2006. His work has been translated into more than forty languages. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
J. M. Coetzee is the author of twenty books, which have been translated into many languages. He is the first author to be awarded the Booker Prize twice: first for Life & Times of Michael K and then for Disgrace. In 2003 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. A native of South Africa, he now lives in Australia.
“[A] civilized discourse between two cultivated and sophisticated men…A pleasure to be in their company.”—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post.
“These two famous writers might seem at first an unlikely pairing…[but] as a series of collaborative inquiries and an extended meditation on the processes of friendship, the book has something substantive to offer.”—The New York Times Book Review
"Here and Now is akin to eavesdropping on a dazzling, extended dinner conversation between two intelligent and substantive minds... A very appealing, human portrait of these two writers."—Bookpage
“A genial, often riveting exchange. Amiable and revealing missives from two remarkable minds.”—Kirkus Reviews
“What keeps us reading is not the brilliance of the minds – though that feature is generously on offer as well – but the warmth, unpretentiousness, and honesty that emerges from these pages…An invigorating and deeply engaging look at two literary greats, as we’ve never seen them before.”—thestar.com
“A striking portrait of two great friends…the result of Auster and Coetzee’s exchange is nothing short of witty, sharp and thought-provoking, and offers a fascinating look into the minds of two of the 20th century’s greatest writers.”—Malibu Magazine
Praise for J. M. Coetzee
“Many, this reviewer among them, would consider [Coetzee] the greatest living novelist in English.” —The New York Times Book Review
"Coetzee may turn out to be one of the last great novelists, exalted by the intensity of his self-awareness and his willingness to make his home in a spiritual and intellectual impasse of which few of his contemporaries were even aware."--The Nation
“South Africa’s most brilliant novelist . . . challenges us to doubt our preconceived notions not only of love but of truth itself.” —The Seattle Times
"Coetzee's signature brilliance...A mixture of penetrating insight and brittle wit that forces our attention on common terrors we don't want to think about."--The Washington Post
Praise for Paul Auster
“A writer of lean, genre-tinged novels whose unaffected prose belies their philosophical complexity….He's also one of our most playful novelists, a lover of narrative labyrinths on par with Borges, to whom he has often been compared.”—The Washington Post
"Paul Auster is one of those sages with confounding talent—confounding for one because he's simply that good... He belongs among Vonnegut, Roth, and DeLillo.”—The Daily Beast