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To Calais, In Ordinary Time

James Meek

(author)

Hardback
The new novel about home, belonging, love, courage and identity, set in the fourteenth century, from the Booker-longlisted author of The People's Act of Love
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SKU
9781786896742
Price £16.52 RRP £18.99

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"a tribute to our better natures"

The Guardian

To Calais, In Ordinary Time A01 By (author) N James Meek 240 162 35 665 BB Hardback 400 Canongate Books Ltd Canongate Books Ltd Edinburgh United Kingdom FV Historical fiction 1.3 FV Historical fiction 6MB 3KLW 1DDU-GB-E 1DF Mediaeval style 14th century, c 1300 to c 1399 England Central Europe The new novel about home, belonging, love, courage and identity, set in the fourteenth century, from the Booker-longlisted author of The People's Act of Love SHORTLISTED FOR THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE FOR HISTORICAL FICTION LONGLISTED FOR THE ORWELL PRIZE FOR POLITICAL FICTION A BOOK OF THE YEAR IN THE TIMES, GUARDIAN, SUNDAY TIMES, DAILY EXPRESS, SCOTSMAN and SPECTATOR Three journeys. One road. England, 1348. A gentlewoman flees an odious arranged marriage, a Scots proctor sets out for Avignon and a young ploughman in search of freedom is on his way to volunteer with a company of archers. All come together on the road to Calais. Coming in their direction from across the Channel is the Black Death, the plague that will wipe out half of the population of Northern Europe. As the journey unfolds, overshadowed by the archers' past misdeeds and clerical warnings of the imminent end of the world, the wayfarers must confront the nature of their loves and desires. A tremendous feat of language and empathy, it summons a medieval world that is at once uncannily plausible, utterly alien and eerily reflective of our own. James Meek's extraordinary To Calais, In Ordinary Time is a novel about love, class, faith, loss, gender and desire - set against one of the biggest cataclysms of human history. A most extraordinary novel, set in the fourteenth century, but with messages of great potency for our own extraordinary times . . . Brimful with comedy, wit, fantasy, violence and love, it is a dazzling provocation -- Walter Scott Prize Judges, 2020 An extraordinary act of literary ventriloquism . . . A stained-glass window to the past . . . Be it essay or article, novel or short story, as a writer and time traveller James Meek does things differently and as readers we are all the better for that * * Sunday Times * * Ambitious . . . Through skilful deployment of language, Meek manages to craft a living, breathing world populated with characters that come alive in the mind . . . This is a fine novel that seems to speak across centuries with more than the likeness of truth * * Financial Times * * A triumphant medieval fable . . . At the centre of this beautiful novel is an exploration of the difference between romance and true love, allegory and reality, history and the present. It plays out in unexpected and delightful ways, and it would be unfair to make these explicit. To Calais, In Ordinary Time ends with a consummation both of its technique and of its story that is affirming, tender and a little bit glorious * * Guardian * * Meek brilliantly creates a variety of voices, and a language appropriate to the 14th century, for a story of the distant past with unsettling echoes of the present * * Sunday Times * * An astounding linguistic fantasy about the advent of the Black Death. French, Anglo-Saxon and Latin collide in a world of fake news, uncertain sexual borders and the dread of a catastrophe which looks in some ways very much like our own -- PHILIP HENSHER * * Spectator, Books of the Year * * Meek employs great linguistic invention and remarkable imagination to conjure up a world in which readers rapidly become immersed * * Sunday Times, Books of the Year * * A glorious imaginative feat, full of complex, compelling, believable characters. Rarely have I been so captivated by a novel, so keen to hurry back to it and reimmerse myself in its world -- SARAH WATERS An inventive and original novel that captures the distant past and pins it to the page * * The Times, Book of the Month * * Fans of intelligent historical fiction will be enthralled by a story so original and so fully imagined. Meek shows the era as alien, which it is, and doesn't falsify it by assimilating it to ours. But his characters are recognisably warm and human -- HILARY MANTEL James Meek is the author of six novels including The People's Act of Love which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won both the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and the Scottish Arts Council Award. It has been published in more than thirty countries. Meek's last novel The Heart Broke In was shortlisted for the Costa Book Award and he has also written two collections of short stories and two books of non-fiction, Private Island, which won the 2015 Orwell Prize and Dreams of Leaving and Remaining. He is a Contributing Editor to the London Review of Books and writes regularly for the Guardian and New York Times. He lives in London. In 2020, To Calais, In Ordinary Time was shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction and longlisted for the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction. 9781786896742 Long-listed for The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction 2020 (UK) 29082019 02 RRP including tax GB GBP 18.99 0.00 18.99 This price includes a tax element GB 20 Available 12 BERT GARD Y

SHORTLISTED FOR THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE FOR HISTORICAL FICTION
LONGLISTED FOR THE ORWELL PRIZE FOR POLITICAL FICTION
A BOOK OF THE YEAR IN THE TIMES, GUARDIAN, SUNDAY TIMES, DAILY EXPRESS, SCOTSMAN and SPECTATOR


Three journeys. One road.


England, 1348. A gentlewoman flees an odious arranged marriage, a Scots proctor sets out for Avignon and a young ploughman in search of freedom is on his way to volunteer with a company of archers. All come together on the road to Calais.

Coming in their direction from across the Channel is the Black Death, the plague that will wipe out half of the population of Northern Europe. As the journey unfolds, overshadowed by the archers' past misdeeds and clerical warnings of the imminent end of the world, the wayfarers must confront the nature of their loves and desires.

A tremendous feat of language and empathy, it summons a medieval world that is at once uncannily plausible, utterly alien and eerily reflective of our own. James Meek's extraordinary To Calais, In Ordinary Time is a novel about love, class, faith, loss, gender and desire - set against one of the biggest cataclysms of human history.

More Information
Book publisherCanongate Books Ltd
Publication date29 Aug 2019
FormatHardback
Pages400
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