The author of Harvest talks to Nicholas Wroe about socialism, farming and the pressure of a Booker nominationThe sources of inspiration behind Jim Crace’s novels are often far removed from the final form of his books. Close observation of the decline of the Midlands car industry eventually resulted in The Gift of Stones, a novel set at the dawn of the bronze age. A visit to a care-in-the-community hostel near his Moseley home came to fruition in Quarantine, his 1997 Booker shortlisted account of Jesus’s 40 days in the wilderness. But even Crace was a little surprised that passing the “apparently unpromising location” of the Watford Gap service station should have provided the impetus for a novel set during the enclosure of the English countryside.Harvest is set in an unnamed English village, an indeterminate number of centuries ago, at the moment when peasant farmers were forced off the land to make room for sheep. It’s Crace’s 11th novel and has been longlisted for this year’s Man Booker prize. But, he explains, it only exists because of the failure of another project that at one time looked likely to end his career and led him to announce that would be his …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books