Eight years ago J.M. Coetzee was asked by Princeton to give the annual Tanner Lecture on Human Values. Coetzee, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 2003, chose to present the lectures in the form of a fictional account of a distinguished woman, a writer and literary critic like himself, giving similar lectures at a college much like Princeton. Mrs. Elizabeth Costello, I take it, is Coetzee’s alter ego or perhaps his Jungian anima. Coetzee knows better than most of us that the fact that she is a woman will make a difference in contemporary discourse, where the gender and race of a person may be at least as important as what they say. Mrs. Costello, we will learn, has many things she feels she needs to say or perhaps that Coetzee wants her to say for him. She has long been a vegetarian and is passionate about animal rights. Instead of lecturing about literature at her fictional Princeton, this "vegan," cat-loving, elderly woman delivers a polemic on animal rights. Ignoring the fact that she will offend the Jews in her audience, she compares the way cattle and poultry are treated to the Holocaust. She insists that the treatment of animals is even worse than the Holocaust because we all know it is happening and we do not care. At the fictional Princeton her audience is rattled if not offended, and one Jewish faculty member conspicuously refuses to attend the dinner in her honor. He writes her a note: "Jews died like cattle, therefore cattle died like Jews, you say. That is a trick with words I will not accept.…Man is made in the likeness of God but God does not have the likeness of man."