J.M. Coetzee, Winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature
" The Lives of Animals is a moral argument within a fictional framework. . . . But fiction has the power to disturb and inspire strong emotions, and this book, thoughtfully argued and committed, is certainly a case in point."-- Maren Meinhardt, Times Literary Supplement
"[A] beautifully constructed, troubling, provacative book which resonates in the mind and heart long after you've turned the last page."-- Helen Kaye, The Jerusalem Post
"If Coetzee . . . were an animal, he would be a fox-quick, aloof and crafty. . . . [A]nimal rights and ethical vegetarianism are natural subjects for him. The debate about them turns on questions of suffering, something to which Coetzee's sensorium is pitched with particular keenness."-- Benjamin Kunkel, The Nation
"The audience of the 1997-98 Tanner Lectures at Princeton probably expected South African novelist Coetzee to deliver a pair of formal essays. . . . Instead, he gave his listeners fiction: a philosophical narrative about an imaginary feminist novelist . . . and the lectures she reads at the fictional Appleton College."-- Publishers Weekly
"For Coetzee fans and others interested in the links between philosophy, reason, and the rights of nonhumans."-- Booklist
"Fluent, challenging lectures on the ethics that shape the human-animal relationship. . . . Coetzee takes no prisoners. . . . [An] ethical tinderbox."-- Kirkus Reviews
"An accessible, thought-provoking introduction to the issues surrounding animal rights."-- Adam Lively, The Sunday Telegraph
"Coetzee's dense, witty hybrid is very welcome; . . . [he] brings a rich array of themes into play, including the differences between animals and humans, the nature of philosophy and poetry, the purpose of a university, the role of a reason and the emotions in moral deliberation."-- Ben Rogers, Financial Times
" The Lives of Animals is a stimulating and worrying book. It is hard to imagine anyone coming away from it without a new perspective on our relation not only to animals but to the natural world in general, and, indeed, to ourselves."-- John Banville, The Irish Times
"I found The Lives of Animals a genuinely troubling book. . . . I imagine that Coetzee feels the force of almost all the ideas and emotions that his characters express. He is working and living at the edge of our moral sensibilities about animals."-- Ian Hacking, The New York Review of Books
"There is a general message that resonates throughout this novella, and one that I found quite compelling. It is that we often assess our relationships with animals based on whether they have human-like mental status, like rationality or self-consciousness, and if they don't, then we feel justified in using them as objects . . . I found the book deeply disturbing . . . [It] offers a passionate and compelling look at one side of the debate."-- Asif A. Ghazanfar, Nature Neuroscience
"A little-known but brilliant tour de force. . . . It's the most artful, thoughtful piece of writing I've come across on the subject of animal rights. . . ."-- Marni Jackson, The Globe and Mail
"A little-known but brilliant tour de force. . . . It's the most artful, thoughtful piece of writing I've come across on the subject of animal rights. . . ."--Marni Jackson, "The Globe and Mail"
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