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As late summer steals in and the final pearls of barley are gleaned, a village comes under threat. A trio of outsiders -- two men and a dangerously magnetic woman -- arrives on the woodland borders and puts up a make-shift camp. That same night, the local manor house is set on fire. Over the course of seven days, Walter Thirsk sees his hamlet unmade: the harvest blackened by smoke and fear, the new arrivals cruelly punished, and his neighbours held captive on suspicion of witchcraft. But something even darker is at the heart of his story, and he will be the only man left to tell it ...Told in Jim Crace's hypnotic prose, Harvest evokes the tragedy of land pillaged and communities scattered, as England's fields are irrevocably enclosed. Timeless yet singular, mythical yet deeply personal, this beautiful novel of one man and his unnamed village speaks for a way of life lost for ever.

Fiction & PoetryModern & contemporary fiction post c 1945 Publisher: Pan Macmillan Publication Date: 01/02/2013 ISBN-13: 9780330445665  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Jim Crace is the prize-winning author of ten previous books, including Continent (winner of the 1986 Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian Fiction Prize), Quarantine (winner of the 1998 Whitbread Novel of the Year and shortlisted for the Booker Prize) and Being Dead (winner of the 2001 National Book Critics Circle Award). He lives in Birmingham.Jim Crace is the prize-winning author of eleven books, including Continent (winner of the 1986 Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian Fiction Prize), Quarantine (winner of the 1998 Whitbread Novel of the Year and shortlisted for the Booker Prize) and Being Dead (winner of the 2001 National Book Critics Circle Award).

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Jim Crace is an utterly original novelist, who revels in the warp and weft of existence; and no detail is too small for him. There is a beautiful lyricism about his novels; this one is set in a village in turmoil in – I would guess – the fifteenth century, as sheep are introduced to the ancient English landscape. It is a mesmeric performance, the imagining of a time and a place which is almost recognisable, but also apparently from mythical time.

Justin Cartwright - 03/09/2013

Staff Choice

The arrival of strangers at the outskirts of a mediæval village at harvest time coincides with a fire that destroys the master's dovecote. Their wrongful sentence to a week in the pillory sows seeds of mistrust in the close-knit community that grow as they hear of a revolutionary plan to replace their barley and cattle with sheep. Widower Walter Thirsk, raised in the master's household but married to a villager, looks on warily and watchfully, his loyalties torn, as he recovers from burns sustained in the fire. The ethereal prose of one of Britain's most consistently elegant authors reflects the intimate and fluctuating relationship between the people and the land, as the ancient community unravels, suspicion and superstition boiling over into fear and rage. - Jonathan

Charing Cross Rd Bookshop - 12/11/2012


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