Jim Crace’s novel Harvest has won the 2015 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the world’s largest prize for a single novel. Previous winning novelists have included Juan Gabriel Vásquez, Kevin Barry, Michel Houellebecq and Herta Müller.
Explaining their decision, the Prize judges commented: “At times, Harvest reads like a long prose poem; it plays on the ear like a river of words. But then again, Jim Crace is a consummate wordsmith; his understanding of human nature is uncanny and he never drops a stitch from start to finish. All human life is here: its graces and disgraces and there is life too in every small stone, flower and blade of grass. A powerful and compelling novel, Harvest is a worthy winner of the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
Speaking about the award, Crace said:
“It has been an overwhelming surprise and a delight to discover that my latest book has won the IMPAC DUBLIN award. Harvest proved to be a generous novel in the writing. Readers and critics were more than generous in their responses. And now, thanks to the further generosity of a whole wide-world network of book-loving strangers, Harvesthas struck lucky again – it will be included in the distinguished and twenty-year-long list of fiction honoured by this truly international and discriminating award. No writer could hope for more than that.”
We, at TMO, have long been Jim Crace fans, not least because of the fantastic and lengthy interview Crace did with the magazine back in 2005. In that interview, he talked about his prose style, his love of music, and why his work is more European than English:
“The conventional English novel is not like my novels. It is realistic, it is autobiographical. It is largely ironic in tone. Irony is the great contribution of the English to literature, and also our default and distinguishing tone in all matters from Politics to giving dinner parties. Irony is the thing that enables us to be serious without seeming to be serious, because we’re very embarassed by seriousness. Intellectual is a term of abuse in the UK rather than approval. In my private life, I’m an ironic person, and I like the ironic tone, but my books are not ironic at all. They’re very moralistic”