Jim Crace

Jim Crace is at present working on a novel.

Story: ‘Sins and Virtues’

Jim Crace, 20 August 1981

I used once to have a calligrapher’s booth in the marketplace. Bridegrooms came and I blessed their marriage certificates with the name of God in gold-leaf. I provided decorative alphabets for elementary schools and delicate pillow-prayers on silk for the superstitious. The old came to my booth and detailed their sins and their virtues. I inscribed them into a list on parchment soaked in ambergris and sealed them into a tube of bamboo. So when the old were dead, their Sins and Virtues were burned with them.

Rooms could be companions: Jim Crace

Luke Kennard, 26 April 2018

Alfred Busi​, the protagonist of Jim Crace’s new novel, is a songwriter with an enchanting and consoling voice, so celebrated in his home city that, when the book opens, he is about to...

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Beating the Bounds: Jim Crace

Adam Mars-Jones, 21 February 2013

Jim Crace is as much ‘out-of-pattern’ as the narrator of his new novel, a settled outsider. He can hardly even be said to resist the pull of publishing convention, any more than...

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Only the crazy make it: Jim Crace

Thomas Jones, 8 March 2007

In Jim Crace’s most celebrated novel, Quarantine, seven strangers spend a month together – or if not exactly together, then in close proximity to one another – in the Judaean...

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Smorgasbits: Jim Crace

Ian Sansom, 15 November 2001

According to Henry James, reviewing John Cross’s life of George Eliot, the creations which brought her renown were of the incalculable kind, shaped themselves in mystery, in some...

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Hiveward-Winging

Robert Irwin, 3 July 1997

‘I’ll just explain the central situation. Six people are trapped in a lift between two floors of a skyscraper – a musician, a surgeon, a charwoman, a conjuror and his female...

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Chiara Ridolfi

C.K. Stead, 9 October 1986

Penelope Fitzgerald’s Innocence is set in Florence, the principal characters are Italian, and I kept asking myself: how is it done? She knows quite a lot about Italian society: but more...

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