Skip to Content

A successful debut

14 October 2013

‘When that happened I thought it was the most natural thing in the world. I had no idea; I'd never written a book before. I wrote this book, someone said they would publish it. I always thought they would, I didn't know books got turned down. The one night they rang up and said, "You've sold it in America for $40,000." They said, "Are you sitting down?" I thought "You're being a bit overwrought, aren't you? What's to sit down about?" Then it was the prizes. It really seemed to be just what happened to you.' (His next book did not sell, or win any prizes.)...

‘I do overdo it, I do, I know. I'm not thinking when I'm writing, how's this going to be read? Or what percentage of the audience is going to stay with me? The thing itself is what gives me pleasure. Sometimes stuff just falls onto the page so beautifully and happily that it's deeply satisfying. It's selfish. I like shaped things. I like shape in things and I do over-shape things, it's true. I've got a big long list of stuff you're entitled to hate about my books.'

Jim Crace, whose Harvest is the favourite for this year's Booker, in the Evening Standard