In a world of chance is there a better and a worse? We yield to a stranger’s embrace or give ourselves to the waves; for the blink of an eyelid our vigilance relaxes; we are asleep; and when we awake, we have lost the direction of our lives. In this extraordinary novel J. M. Coetzee asks his readers to re-imagine Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. It is the early 1700s. A young woman, Susan Barton, washes ashore on a remote island, populated only by Cruso and Friday, his mute slave. It will finally fall to Barton, having been rescued, to tell their tale of survival-but in order to do that she must confront and grapple with the nature of storytelling itself.
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