Jim Crace’s lyrical historical fiction evokes the tragedy of a land pillaged and communities scattered, as England’s fields are irrevocably enclosed.
As late summer steals in and the final pearls of barley are gleaned, a village comes under threat. Three outsiders arrive on the woodland borders and put 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 on suspicion of witchcraft. But something even darker is at the heart of his story.
About the AuthorJim Crace is the prize-winning author of a dozen books, including Continent, winner of the 1986 Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian Fiction Prize.