Summary

A fable, a religious allegory, a novel of ideas, a journey, both real and metaphysical-this latest work by the Nobel Laureate is all these things and more. Traveling by ship to a new country, young David is separated from his mother, so he is looked after by fellow passenger Simon. Once the ship docks, they search for Davids mother-and life itself. Positively Godot-ish-sounding.


A major new novel from the Nobel Prize-winning author of "Waiting for the Barbarians," "The Life & Times of Michael K" and "Disgrace"
Nobel laureate and two-time Booker Prize winner J. M. Coetzee returns with a haunting and surprising novel about childhood and destiny that is sure to rank with his classic novels.
Separated from his mother as a passenger on a boat bound for a new land, David is a boy who is quite literally adrift. The piece of paper explaining his situation is lost, but a fellow passenger, Simon, vows to look after the boy. When the boat docks, David and Simon are issued new names, new birthdays, and virtually a whole new life.
Strangers in a strange land, knowing nothing of their surroundings, nor the language or customs, they are determined to find Davids mother. Though the boy has no memory of her, Simon is certain he will recognize her at first sight. "But after we find her," David asks, "what are we here for?"
An eerie allegorical tale told largely through dialogue, "The Childhood of Jesus" is a literary feat--a novel of ideas that is also a tender, compelling narrative. Coetzees many fans will celebrate his return while new readers will find "The Childhood of Jesus" an intriguing introduction to the work of a true master.