‘Continent’ by Jim Crace

In my own writing I have found myself pulled between the realism of writers like Wolff or Munro and the more heightened, fabulistic effects of stories like ‘The Swimmer’ or Jim Crace’s first book, Continent. Sometimes described as a novel, Continent is a collection of short stories each of which takes place in the same unnamed country where the struggle between tradition and progress, science and superstition is a constant theme. As elsewhere with Crace, it is a miracle of style and language, a completely accomplished debut that set the template for everything that he would write afterwards. I refuse to choose a single story. Read the whole book.

 (William Heinemann, 1986)

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