Friday, August 23, 2013


Jim Crace has just had a very close shave. ‘This time last year I abandoned a book. I’d sold it in America and in Britain, I’d spent the money, they’d want the money back. We’d lose the house. It was a really, really serious situation,’ he remembers. ‘You always think, don’t lose your nerve, persevere . . . And in the past it’s always worked.’ This time it didn’t.  ‘I thought I’d lost my mojo. I thought, “I’ve got a copy date, I’ve got to deliver a book at Christmas. I haven’t got a book to write.” I was in deep shit. That was on the Tuesday. I started Harvest on the Friday.’ He mimes wiping sweat from his brow. ‘So I wrote that book in six months and I delivered it on the same day that I should have delivered the old one. Bloody hell, I thought, that was a narrow escape. I felt like some kid in a boy’s comic: “Phew! That was a close one.”’