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He always slips away

JM Coetzee’s new novel is a profound existential comedy. But what does it all mean?

By Ruth Franklin   April 2013

JM Coetzee: his novels, including the 1999 Booker Prize-winner Disgrace, are “radically simple in their language yet evade neat interpretation” © Bert Nienhuis

The Childhood of Jesus by JM Coetzee (Harvill Secker, £16.99)

“I am not sure he is wholly of our world,” a medical officer says of the title figure in JM Coetzee’s 1983 novel The Life and Times of Michael K. The same could be said of Coetzee himself, and the austerely bleak novels that he has been steadily turning out over a career that now spans…

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