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Sunday, March 1, 2020

Going Where The Story Takes You

“When you start a novel, it is always like pushing a boulder uphill. Then, after a while, to mangle the metaphor, the boulder fills with helium and becomes a balloon that carries you the rest of the way to the top. You just have to hold your nerve and trust to narrative.” – Jim Crace

Born in England on this date in 1946, Crace is a “writer” and  “novelist,” the distinction made because he looks upon “writing” as what he did as a journalist before turning to the creative side.  

Crace started his career as a teacher for British Volunteer Services Overseas, then wrote educational programs for the BBC before his time as a journalist.   He wrote for many of Britain’s leading newspapers before becoming discouraged by what he termed “political interference” and turned to the creative side, achieving immediate success.  Crace's first book in 1986, Continent, won the Whitbread First Novel of the Year Award, the David Higham Prize for Fiction, and the Guardian Fiction prize. New York Times critic Robert Olen Butler called it "brilliant, provocative and delightful.” 

He has since authored 13 more novels including Quarantine, a Whitbread Novel winner, and Harvest, winner of the International Dublin Literary Award and shortlisted for the Booker Prize.   “I never think of the reader. I am curious about things; I need to find out, so off I go,” Crace said.  

“When a book goes well, it abandons me. I am the most abandoned writer in the world.”

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