1 March 1946
St Albans, England, United Kingdom
|Genre||Realistic fiction, historical fiction|
|Notable works||Continent, Quarantine, Being Dead, Harvest|
James Crace (born 1 March 1946) is an English writer and novelist. His novels include Quarantine, which was judged Whitbread Novel of 1998, and Harvest, which won the 2015 International Dublin Literary Award, the 2013 James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and was shortlisted for the 2013 Booker Prize.
Crace was born at Brocket Hall, Hertfordshire, while it was a maternity hospital. He grew up on an estate in Enfield, north London and attended Enfield Grammar School. He studied for a degree at the Birmingham College of Commerce (now part of Birmingham City University), where he was enrolled as an external student of the University of London. While at university, Crace edited and contributed to the Birmingham Sun, Aston University's student newspaper. He was awarded an external Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of London in 1968.
Immediately after graduating from university, Crace joined Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) and was sent to Khartoum, Sudan. He traveled through Africa and briefly taught at a village school called Kgosi Kgari Sechele Secondary School in Molepolole, Botswana. Two years later he returned to the UK, and worked for the BBC writing educational programmes.
In 1974 he published his first work of prose fiction, Annie, California Plates in The New Review, and in the next 10 years would write a number of short stories and radio plays, including:
- Helter Skelter, Hang Sorrow, Care’ll Kill a Cat, The New Review (December 1975). Reprinted in Cosmopolitan and included in Introduction 6: Stories by new writers, Faber and Faber (1977).
- Refugees, winner of the Socialist Challenge short story competition (judges: John Fowles, Fay Weldon, Terry Eagleton), Socialist Challenge (1977).
- Seven Ages, Quarto (June 1980), broadcast as Middling by BBC Radio 3.
- The Bird Has Flown, radio play, broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 28 October 1976.
- A Coat of Many Colours, radio play, broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 24 March 1979.
Continent, Crace's first book, was published in 1986. The book's sale to America enabled him to leave journalism and concentrate on writing books. Continent consists of seven stories united by their setting and themes. It 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".
Follow-up book The Gift of Stones is set in a village in the Neolithic period, while Quarantine is set in the Judean desert, 2000 years ago. The latter book won the Whitbread Novel Award in 1997, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, as was his 2013 novel Harvest. He won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1999, for Being Dead.
Having lived many years in the Moseley area of Birmingham with his wife Pamela Turton, Crace now lives with her in rural Warwickshire. They have two children, Thomas Charles Crace (born 1981) and the actress Lauren Rose Crace (born 1986), who played Danielle Jones in EastEnders.
Awards and honours
- 1986 David Higham Prize for Fiction for Continent
- 1986 Guardian Fiction Prize for Continent
- 1986 Whitbread Award (First novel) for Continent
- 1988 Premio Antico Fattore
- 1989 GAP International Prize for Literature for The Gift of Stones
- 1992 American Academy of Arts and Letters E. M. Forster Award
- 1995 Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize for Signals of Distress
- 1997 Booker Prize shortlist for Quarantine
- 1997 Whitbread Award (Novel) for Quarantine
- 1999 National Book Critics Circle Award for Being Dead
- 2013 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Harvest
- 2013 Booker Prize shortlist for Harvest
- 2014 Windham–Campbell Literature Prize (Fiction), valued at $150,000 one of the largest prizes in the world of its kind.
- 2015 International Dublin Literary Award for Harvest
- Continent (seven stories) (1986)
- The Gift of Stones (1988)
- Arcadia (1992)
- Signals of Distress (1994)
- The Slow Digestions of the Night (short stories) (1995)
- Quarantine (1997)
- Being Dead (1999)
- The Devil's Larder (64 short pieces) (2001)
- Six (2003) (published in the US as Genesis)
- The Pesthouse (2007)
- On Heat (2008)
- All That Follows (2010)
- Harvest (2013)
- The Melody (2018)
- Eden (2022)
- Europa.bcu.ac.uk[permanent dead link]
- Vincent, Sally (24 August 2001). "Death and the optimist". The Guardian.
- Paris Review, 'Jim Crace, The Art of Fiction No. 179': "I had a falling out with the Sunday Times over what I took to be political interference. My report on the Broadwater Farm Estate, a mainly black housing project in Tottenham, North London, didn't match the editor's prejudices that it was a 'hellhole'." The Paris Review
- The Guardian
- "Authors join book prize's hall of fame". University of Edinburgh. Retrieved 23 August 2014.
- "Prize Citation for Jim Crace". Windham–Campbell Literature Prize. 7 March 2014. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
- Flood, Alison (17 June 2015). "Impac prize goes to 'consummate wordsmith' Jim Crace for Harvest". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
- Peck, Dale. "The Devil You Know." Rev. of The Devil's Larder by Jim Crace. Hatchet Jobs. New York: The New Press, 2004. 133–49.
- Tew, Philip. Jim Crace. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2006.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to Jim Crace.|
- Jim-Crace.com – Original source for biography. Permission granted by Andrew Hewitt, webmaster
- Jim Crace at British Council: Literature
- Works by Jim Crace at Open Library
- Adam Begley (Fall 2003). "Jim Crace, The Art of Fiction No. 179". Paris Review.
- TehelkaTV interview with Jim Crace – The unimportance of literature, and Jim's experience of journalism, January 2011
- The Poet of Prose – Jim Crace in interview with Three Monkeys Online
- Jim Crace's Writer's Reflect at the Harry Ransom Center