Jason Cowley

A Modern Shipwreck

Elizabeth Costello

By

Secker & Warburg 244pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

ELIZABETH  COSTELLO IS , like her creator, John Michael Coetzee, a novelist of world renown. She is also, rather like the reclusive, taciturn Coetzee himself, a fugitive. She is in hiding from the world and perhaps also from herself. We meet her in disillusioned old age, a lifetime of steady achievement behind her. She has reached that time of her life when everyone, it seems, wants a piece of her. She is pursued by journalists; she is invited to speak at literary conferences; her work, particularly her most celebrated novel, a recasting of the life of Molly Bloom, is the subject of continual academic scrutiny; and her opinions are endlessly sought on issues ranging from animal rights to the question of evil. All in a day’s work, you might say, for a celebrity writer.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'The characters in many of these stories are trapped in the obsessive present tense of their own thoughts; in the m… ,
    • 'Libraries, for much of their existence, have embodied in microcosm many of the characteristics of the totalitarian… ,
    • 'Moss and Cynthia buy several properties through which to launder their ill-gotten gains, take lots of drugs, have… ,
    • 'Never mind the imperial cult. This is the cult of Boris. What happened to Rome?' From the LR archive:… ,
    • Thirty-two years ago this month, we published Muriel Spark's short story, 'A Playhouse Called Remarkable' Read it… ,
    • Time travel, bicycles and white horses populate @WomackPhilip's roundup of children's books by @marcussedgwick,… ,
    • RT : Joanna Kavenna’s ‘Cooking with Trotsky’s Frying Pan’ in June’s is the most well written and interesting… ,