quarantine
1999 Shortlist

Quarantine

artwork-image

ABOUT
THE BOOK

Two thousand years ago four travellers enter the Judean desert to fast and pray for their lost souls. In the blistering heat they encounter the evil merchant Musa who holds them in his tyrannical power. Yet there is also another, a faint figure in the distance, fasting for forty days, a Galilean who they say has the power to work miracles. Here, trapped in the wilderness, their battle for survival begins. Jim Crace is the award-winning author of five novels: Quarantine won the 1997 Whitbread Novel Award and was shortlisted for the 1997 Booker Prize.

 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Jim
Crace

Novelist Jim Crace was born in Hertfordshire, England, in 1946 and was brought up in north London.

He read English Literature as an external student at London University and worked for VSO in Sudan as an assistant in Sudanese educational television. He began writing fiction in 1974 and his first story, ‘Annie, California Plates’, was published by the New Review, a literary journal edited by Ian Hamilton. He became Writer in Residence at the Midlands Arts Centre and in 1983 he directed the first Birmingham Festival of Readers and Writers.

Jim Crace is widely regarded as an innovative and highly original writer with a powerful ability to create imaginary worlds and landscapes. His first book, Continent (1986), consists of seven interconnected stories set on an imaginary seventh continent, exploring Western attitudes to the Third World. It won the Whitbread First Novel Award, the Guardian Fiction Prize and the David Higham Prize for Fiction. The Gift of Stones (1988) portrays a coastal Stone Age community threatened by Bronze Age technology, while Arcadia (1992), his third book, is set in an imaginary British city in the future. Signals of Distress (1994) explores the events surrounding a shipwreck off the Cornish coast in the 1830s, and won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize. Quarantine (1997), which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction, is a reworking of the biblical account of Jesus’s 40 days spent in the wilderness. Being Dead (1999) narrates the murder and physical decomposition of a couple on a remote beach, interpolated with episodes from their life. The novel won the Whitbread Novel Award, the National Book Critics’ Circle Fiction Award (USA) and was shortlisted for both the Booker Prize for Fiction and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

The Devil’s Larder (2001), consists of 64 short fictions about food. Extracts from the novel had previously been published as The Slow Digestions of the Night in 1995. Six (2003) charts the sexual history of actor Felix Dern, whose seemingly perfect life is blighted by the fact that every woman he sleeps with bears his child.The Pesthouse (2007) is a love story set in a future America. His most recent novels are On Heat (2008), All That Follows (2010), and Harvest (2013), which was shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize, the Goldsmiths Prize and the Walter Scott Prize, and won the 2013 James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2015. His latest novel is The Melody (2018).

Jim Crace was awarded the E. M. Forster Award by the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1992 and became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1999. In 2000, he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Central England for Distinguished Literary Achievements. He lives in Birmingham with his wife and two children.

Novelist Jim Crace was born in Hertfordshire, England, in 1946 and was brought up in north London.

He read English Literature as an external student at London University and worked for VSO in Sudan as an assistant in Sudanese educational television. He began writing fiction in 1974 and his first story, ‘Annie, California Plates’, was published by the New Review, a literary journal edited by Ian Hamilton. He became Writer in Residence at the Midlands Arts Centre and in 1983 he directed the first Birmingham Festival of Readers and Writers.

Jim Crace is widely regarded as an innovative and highly original writer with a powerful ability to create imaginary worlds and landscapes. His first book, Continent (1986), consists of seven interconnected stories set on an imaginary seventh continent, exploring Western attitudes to the Third World. It won the Whitbread First Novel Award, the Guardian Fiction Prize and the David Higham Prize for Fiction. The Gift of Stones (1988) portrays a coastal Stone Age community threatened by Bronze Age technology, while Arcadia (1992), his third book, is set in an imaginary British city in the future. Signals of Distress (1994) explores the events surrounding a shipwreck off the Cornish coast in the 1830s, and won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize. Quarantine (1997), which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction, is a reworking of the biblical account of Jesus’s 40 days spent in the wilderness. Being Dead (1999) narrates the murder and physical decomposition of a couple on a remote beach, interpolated with episodes from their life. The novel won the Whitbread Novel Award, the National Book Critics’ Circle Fiction Award (USA) and was shortlisted for both the Booker Prize for Fiction and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

The Devil’s Larder (2001), consists of 64 short fictions about food. Extracts from the novel had previously been published as The Slow Digestions of the Night in 1995. Six (2003) charts the sexual history of actor Felix Dern, whose seemingly perfect life is blighted by the fact that every woman he sleeps with bears his child.The Pesthouse (2007) is a love story set in a future America. His most recent novels are On Heat (2008), All That Follows (2010), and Harvest (2013), which was shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize, the Goldsmiths Prize and the Walter Scott Prize, and won the 2013 James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2015. His latest novel is The Melody (2018).

Jim Crace was awarded the E. M. Forster Award by the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1992 and became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1999. In 2000, he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Central England for Distinguished Literary Achievements. He lives in Birmingham with his wife and two children.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
02/04/1998
Country
United Kingdom
Original Language
English
Author
Publisher
Penguin Books

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