Nobel Laureate and two-time Booker prize-winning author of "Disgrace" and "The Life and Times of Michael K", J. M. Coetzee tells the remarkable story of a nation gripped in brutal apartheid in his "Sunday Express" Book of the Year award-winner "Age of Iron". In Cape Town, South Africa, an elderly classics professor writes a letter to her distant ...
Nobel Laureate and two-time Booker prize-winning author of "Disgrace" and "The Life and Times of Michael K", J. M. Coetzee tells the remarkable story of a nation gripped in brutal apartheid in his "Sunday Express" Book of the Year award-winner "Age of Iron". In Cape Town, South Africa, an elderly classics professor writes a letter to her distant daughter, recounting the strange and disturbing events of her dying days. She has been opposed to the lies and the brutality of apartheid all her life, but now she finds herself coming face to face with its true horrors: the hounding by the police of her servant's son, the burning of a nearby black township, the murder by security forces of a teenage activist who seeks refuge in her house. Through it all, her only companion, the only person to whom she can confess her mounting anger and despair, is a homeless man who one day appears on her doorstep. In "Age of Iron", J. M. Coetzee brings his searing insight and masterful control of language to bear on one of the darkest episodes of our times. "Quite simply a magnificent and unforgettable work". ("Daily Telegraph"). "A superbly realized novel whose truth cuts to the bone". ("The New York Times"). "A remarkable work by a brilliant writer". ("Wall Street Journal"). South African author J. M. Coetzee was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003 and was the first author to win the Booker Prize twice for his novels "Disgrace" and "The Life and Times of Michael K". His novel, "Foe", an exquisite reinvention of the story of Robinson Crusoe is also available in Penguin paperback.
Publishers Weekly, 1992-05-11 A retired South African professor's letters to her daughter in America, telling both of her terminal cancer and of her country's afflictions, constitute a novel that moves with the implacability of a nightmare. (June)
Publishers Weekly, 1990-06-29 Harsh, unflinching and powerful, Coetzee's ( Waiting for the Barbarians ) new novel is a cry of moral outrage at the legacy that apartheid has created in South Africa. In scenes of stunning ferocity, he depicts the unequal warfare waging between the two races, a conflict in which the balance of power is slowly shifting. An elderly woman's letters to her daughter in America make up the narrative. Near death from rapidly advancing cancer, Cape Town resident Mrs. Curren is a retired university professor and political liberal who has always considered herself a ``good person'' in deploring the government's obfuscatory and brutal policies, though she has been insulated from the barbarism they produce. When the teenage son of her housekeeper is murdered by the police and his activist friend is also shot by security forces, Mrs. Curren realizes that ``now my eyes are open and I can never close them again.'' The only person to whom she can communicate her anguished feelings of futility and waste is an alcoholic derelict whom she prevails on to be her messenger after her death, by mailing the packet of her letters to her daughter. In them she records the rising tide of militancy among young blacks; brave, defiant and vengeful, they are a generation whose hearts have turned to iron. His metaphors in service to a story that moves with the implacability of a nightmare, Coetzee's own urgent message has never been so cogently delivered. (Sept.)
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