The Pole

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Product Details
$26.00  $24.18
Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publish Date
5.7 X 8.3 X 0.9 inches | 0.7 pounds

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About the Author
J. M. Coetzee is the author of more than twenty books, including The Life and Times of Michael K, for which Coetzee was awarded his first Booker Prize in 1983, and Boyhood: Scenes from Provincial Life, a memoir. With Disgrace, Coetzee became the first author to win the Booker Prize twice. In 2003, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Exquisitely elevating the fundamental influences of music and language, The Pole unequivocally affirms the often enigmatic relationships among art, love, and human experience.--George Kendall, Booklist, starred review
[R]ich and engrossing . . . The prose is unornamented but nevertheless consistently incisive. Coetzee's ability to render the human condition in all its vagaries is as masterful as ever.-- "Publishers Weekly"
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.--Pankaj Mishra "Nation"
[Coetzee] is a consummate withholder, one of the great masters of the unsaid and the inexplicit.--Fintan O'Toole "New York Review of Books"
[A]n unconventional Polish pianist is entranced by a woman more than two decades his junior; a relationship J.M. Coetzee elegantly shadows with that of Chopin and George Sand.--Vanity Fair, "Best Books of the Fall"
The writer who reinvents the rules of the genre in which he writes is an outlaw. . . . Coetzee has been an outlaw novelist since 1973.--Benjamin Ogden "New York Times Book Review"
[H]aunting and surreptitiously heartfelt... In an age of virtue signaling, Coetzee has the courage to bypass every fashionable position and reassurance and, by so doing, in The Pole, to catch some emotional truth, about loneliness and bewilderment and need, that really pierces... [As] soon as I completed it, I wanted to go back and read the whole elliptical thing again...--Pico Iyer "AirMail"
Like all of Mr. Coetzee's best books, The Pole is a textual echo chamber--gesturing to Dante, Don Quixote, George Sand and even Mr. Coetzee's own novel Disgrace--that never feels smothered by its allusions. Quick, deft, stimulating, stripped-down but unexpectedly moving, it's a return to form by a writer who can make music from the fewest possible notes.--Sam Sacks "Wall Street Journal"
With 'The Pole, ' Coetzee muddies the waters of national purity with his trademark clarity . . . [T]he book approaches the politics of Polishness in true Coetzee fashion: with elegant elision, at such an angle as to be almost imperceptible . . . While some might read 'The Pole' as a love story that unfolds across a language barrier, it is at its heart a novel about language that can be told only through a love plot . . . The novel presents words and what we desire to say as two points on a map, as far apart as the poles. To confront the distance between them is daunting, but love pushes us along.--Jennifer Wilson "The New Yorker"
[A] masterclass in the 'late style' at its best . . . among the pleasures of 'The Pole' are the layers it reveals. It is a book not only of the living but also of the dead. What does love mean? Coetzee wants us to consider. And memory -- what consolations can it offer when we know it doesn't last? . . . In this deeply moving novel, Coetzee reminds us of what we wish we didn't have to remember: that everything dissolves.--David L. Ulin "Los Angeles Times"
[A] svelte and melancholy novel... for a book that draws so heavily on the language and subject matter of music, The Pole remains remarkably quiet. This quietude...proves Coetzee's masterstroke.--Ellie Ebberlie "Chicago Review of Books"
With The Pole, Coetzee, ever enigmatic, plays slowly, deliberately, with a delicate nuance that continues to impress.--J.R. Patterson "World Literature Today"
Coetzee has been giving us lessons in beauty - a certain kind of beauty - for decades . . . The Pole shows that, at 83 years old, there is no diminishing of his talents. Long may he darken our pages with prose.--John Self "The Guardian"
In The Pole, Coetzee forges an autofiction of contemplation, in which thought and inquiry take precedence over melodrama -- because time is running out.--Christian Lorentzen "Financial Times"