HARVEST won the IMPAC Prize earlier today. My favourite Crace novel will always be QUARANTINE, I think, especially if Crace makes good on his promise that HARVEST will be his final offering, but I hugely enjoyed HARVEST too. I interviewed Jim Crace early last year, on the publication of HARVEST, and he proved marvellous company, self-deprecating and entirely unencumbered by anything remotely approaching ego. To wit:
“Sometimes you do a bit of writing,” [Crace] continues, “and right from the word go until almost the finish it’s like pushing a great chunk of granite up a hill. But at some point, that piece of granite will turn into a helium-filled balloon. Normally, with a book of mine, that moment of loss-of-weight happens halfway through, or towards the end. With this book it happened on the first page. That book became full of hot air,” he laughs, “very early on.”
For the rest of the interview, clickety-click here …
“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.