Friday, March 21, 2008

Diary of a Bad Year by J.M. Coetzee (a review)

Diary of a Bad Year
4.5 out of 5: This "novel" unfolds in three parallel tracks: a series of "strong opinions" written for an anthology by an aging South African writer living in Australia (Senor C); Senor C's internal thoughts, particularly regarding his young, sensuous typist, Anya; and Anya's internal thoughts. All three tracks share the page, but the structure remains easy to follow. Senor C’s strong opinions are interesting in their own right, but the true brilliance of this book is Anya's subtle influence over Senor C's opinions, which become more personal over time. Coetzee delivers an enlightening glimpse into the process of writing and the formulation of a writer's ideas.

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