Harvest by Jim Crace
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“Glorious … Harvest calls to mind J. M. Coetzee’s finest and most allegorical novel, Waiting for the Barbarians … Crace writes with a particular, haunting empathy for the displaced … His plots may be epic, but his sentences carry a sensual charge … 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.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“Crace’s signature measured delivery and deliberate focus create unforgettably poetic passages that quiver with beauty. An electrifying return to form.”
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Rarely does language so plainspoken and elemental tell a story so richly open to interpretation on so many different levels….With economy and grace, the award-winning Crace gives his work a simplicity and symmetry that belie the disturbances beneath the consciousness of its narrator….Crace continues to occupy a singular place in contemporary literature.”
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
On the morning after harvest, the inhabitants of a remote English village awaken looking forward to a hard-earned day of rest and feasting at their landowner’s table. But the sky is marred by two conspicuous columns of smoke, replacing pleasurable anticipation with alarm and suspicion. One smoke column is the result of an overnight fire that has damaged the master’s outbuildings. The second column rises from the wooded edge of the village, sent up by newcomers to announce their presence. In the minds of the wary villagers a mere coincidence of events appears to be unlikely, with violent confrontation looming as the unavoidable outcome. Meanwhile, another newcomer has recently been spotted taking careful notes and making drawings of the land. 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 unraveling of a pastoral idyll in the wake of economic progress. His tale is timeless and unsettling, framed by a beautifully evoked world that will linger in your memory long after you finish reading.
JIM CRACE is the author of nine previous novels, including most recently, The Pesthouse. 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. Jim Crace has also received the E.M. Forster Award, and the Guardian Fiction Prize. He lives in Birmingham, England.