- Publisher: NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS
- Format: Paperback | 135 pages
- Dimensions: 127mm x 193mm x 13mm | 259g
- Publication date: 31 October 2000
- Publication City/Country: New York, NY
- ISBN 10: 0940322471
- ISBN 13: 9780940322479
- Sales rank: 218,497
In J. L. Carr's deeply charged poetic novel, Tom Birkin, a veteran of the Great War and a broken marriage, arrives in the remote Yorkshire village of Oxgodby where he is to restore a recently discovered medieval mural in the local church. Living in the bell tower, surrounded by the resplendent countryside of high summer, and laboring each day to uncover an anonymous painter's depiction of the apocalypse, Birkin finds that he himself has been restored to a new, and hopeful, attachment to life. But summer ends, and with the work done, Birkin must leave. Now, long after, as he reflects on the passage of time and the power of art, he finds in his memories some consolation for all that has been lost.
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James Lloyd Carr was born in 1912 and attended the village school at Carlton Miniott in Yorkshire. A head teacher, publisher, and novelist, his books include "A Day in Summer" (1964); "A Season in Sinji" (1967); "The Harpole Report" (1972); "How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won the FA Cup" (1975); "A Month in the Country" (1980), which won the Guardian Fiction Prize and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize; "The Battle of Pollock's Crossing (1985)," also shortlisted for the the Booker Prize; "What Hetty Did"(1988); and "Harpole & Foxberrow General Publishers" (1992). He died in Northhamptonshire in 1994. Michael Holroyd is the author of acclaimed biographies of Lytton Strachey, Bernard Shaw, and Augustus John. He has also written a memoir, "Basil Street Blues." He lives in London with his wife, the writer Margaret Drabble.
"How rare a thing it is - the succesful novella. But that is what I uncovered - just last week - when sitting down to J.L. Carr's "A Month in the Country". Published by NYRB and shortlisted for the Booker, Carr's lean, but endlessly poignant, account of one man's experiences following the First World War left me with a renewed appreciation not only for the novella, but for those with the ability to capture that complex relationship between memory and silence. Carr's work - like a number of NYRB titles - is well worth the afternoon's read. It is, as Rolling Stone said of Joseph Roth's "Flight Without End", a 'minor masterpiece.'" --"Philadelphia Daily News"