Pushing Fiction's Envelope

the ageing novelist was last seen spouting off about animal rights, eros and the nature of evil at conferences and awards ceremonies, and getting terribly befuddled in the process. "What do I believe? I believe in those little frogs," the novelist said. This was not J.M. Coetzee, the South African now based in South Australia - he was too busy collecting his 2003 Nobel prize for literature - but his pesky character Elizabeth Costello, whose "Eight Lessons" formed the basis of his last "meta" novel. Stranded at the gates of heaven, she was rambling about the Victorian mudflats of her childhood...

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