ISBN 9780099516194,Diary of a Bad Year

Diary of a Bad Year


J M Coetzee


Random House

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ISBN 9780099516194
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ISBN 9780099516194

Random House

Publication Year 2008

ISBN 9780099516194

ISBN-10 0099516195


Number of Pages 240 Pages
Language (English)

General & literary fiction

An eminent, seventy-two-year-old Australian writer is invited to contribute to a book entitled Strong Opinions. It is a chance to air some urgent concerns. He writes short essays on the origins of the state, on Machiavelli, on anarchism, on al Qaida, on intelligent design, on music. What, he asks, is the origin of the state and the nature of the relationship between citizen and state? How should the citizen of a modern democracy react to the state's willingness to set aside moral considerations and civil liberties in its war on terror, a war that includes the use of torture? He is troubled by Australia's complicity with America and Britain in their wars in the Middle East; an obscure sense of dishonour clings to him.

In the laundry-room of his apartment block he encounters an alluring young woman. When he discovers she is 'between jobs' he claims failing eyesight and offers her work typing up his manuscript. Anya has no interest in politics but the job provides a distraction, as does the writer's evident and not unwelcome attraction toward her.

Her boyfriend, Alan, an investment consultant who understands the world in harsh neo-liberal economic terms, has reservations about his trophy girlfriend spending time with this 1960s throwback. Taking a lively interest in his affairs, Alan begins to formulate a plan.