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Slow Man by J. M. Coetzee
Paul Rayment is the Slow Man in J. M. Coetzee's novel. He's a 60-year old Australian man who is hit by a car while cycling and has a leg amputated. He retires to his Adelaide flat, depressed by his circumstance and the lack of substance to his life. He lusts for his Croatian caregiver, Marijana, and wants to be a surrogate father to her sons, even though she has a husband. He offers to pay for a private school for her oldest son, something her husband refuses. One day, the novelist Elizabeth Costello arrives at Rayment's flat and informs him that she's decided to make him a character in her novel. She pushes and prods him to live an interesting life, even offering him a blind woman, who can't see his missing leg, to be his lover. Rayment resists her at every turn, but his underlying dilemma remains; how is he to fashion a life while he's still trying to find his place in the world? Slow Man has received mostly positive reviews with the Independent saying, "Coetzee is a unique voice; no novelist explores ideas and the power of literature and the sense of displacement so boldly. Slow Man will add to his immense reputation."