Harvest

Category: Book
By (author): Crace, Jim
Subject:  FICTION / General
  FICTION / Literary
Awards: International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (2015) Winner
Man Booker International Prize (2013) Short-listed
Publisher: Penguin Canada
Published: February 2013
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 224
Size: 8.98in x 6.18in x 0.61in
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*A remote English village wakes on the morning after harvest, looking forward to a hard-earned day of rest and feasting at the landowner's table. But two conspicuous columns of smoke mar the sky, raising alarm and suspicion in the place of peaceable satisfaction.

Overnight, Master Kent's stables and his dovecote have burned. Walter Thirsk, a relative outsider who left his position as manservant in the manor house to marry a village woman, casts his eye on three local boys and blames their careless tomfoolery.

But the second smoke column comes from the edge of the village land, sent up by newcomers to announce their presence. Rather than search among themselves for a culprit on whom to blame the stable fire, the villagers close ranks against the strangers. Two men and a woman are apprehended, their heads are shaved to mark their criminality, and the men are thrown in the stocks for a week.

The villagers will come to regret their silence in the face of such hasty judgment. Meanwhile, another newcomer has been recently spotted in the village sporting the finer clothes and fashionable beard of a townsman. Mr. Quill, as the villagers name him, observes them closely and takes careful notes about their land, apparently at Master Kent's behest. It is his presence more than any other that will threaten the village's entire way of life.

In effortless and tender prose, Jim Crace details the unravelling of a pastoral idyll in the face of economic progress. His tale is timeless and unsettling, framed by a beautifully evoked world you will remember long after you finish reading.

Review Quote*"Glorious . . . Crace writes with a particular, haunting empathy for the displaced . . . By transposing contemporary anxieties onto distant times he allows us to feel them afresh . . . In his compassionate curiosity and his instincts for insurgent uncertainty, Crace surely ranks among our greatest novelists of radical upheaval, a perfect fit for our unstable, unforgiving age." - New York Times

"Harvest is Jim Crace at his finest. . . a timeless masterwork." - Halifax Chronicle Herald

"A writer of hallucinatory skill." - John Updike

"Like the best literature, Crace is always open to possibility. He seems to couple the social thrust of Steinbeck with echoes of Coetzee, McCarthy, Marquez." - Colum McCann

"One of the most stunningly original novelists writing today." - Los Angeles Times
Biographical NoteJIM CRACE is the author of ten previous novels. Being Dead was shortlisted for the 1999 Whitbread Fiction Prize and won the U.S. National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction in 2000. In 1997, Quarantine was named the Whitbread Novel of the Year and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Crace has also received the Whitbread First Novel Prize, the E.M. Forster Award, and the Guardian Fiction Prize. He lives in Birmingham, England.