Friday, March 21, 2008

The Life and Times of Michael K. by J.M. Coetzee

Coetzee's beautiful tale of Michael K.'s search for meaning and dignity is inspiring and powerful - and unfortunately relevant. The war, racism, and human rights abuses framing "The Life and Times of Michael K." are as close as tomorrow's headlines. By focusing on one man's attempt to live a life of freedom, Coetzee universalizes our evils, and Michael K.'s heart-wrenching story becomes revealingly human. The savagery will haunt you, but Michael K.'s innocence and resolve will have you cheering. "The Life and Times of Michael K." changed for the better what I thought literature was capable of, and what it should aspire to: it cuts like barbed wire, but heals like a lover's touch. I owe my friend a lifetime of thanks for recommending this to me; it's simply a brilliant book.

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