Baritone Bay, mid-afternoon. A couple, naked, married almost thirty years, are lying murdered in the dunes.
"Their bodies had expired, but anyone could tell--just look at them--that Joseph and Celice were still devoted. For while his hand was touching her, curved round her shin, the couple seemed to have achieved that peace the world denies, a period of grace, defying even murder. Anyone who found them there, so wickedly disfigured, would nevertheless be bound to see that something of their love had survived the death of cells. The corpses were surrendered to the weather and the earth, but they were still a man and wife, quietly resting; flesh on flesh; dead, but not departed yet."
“Makes us see our own world more clearly . . . brilliant, provocative and delightful” --the New York Times
Jim Crace’s internationally acclaimed first book explores the tribes and communities, conflicts and superstitions, flora and fauna of a wholly spellbinding place: an imaginary seventh continent. In these seven tales Crace travels a strange and wonderful landscape: “Talking Skull” takes the reader to a tiny agricultural village renowned for the sexually-charged, mystical milk of its calves; “Electricity” introduces a remote flatland region where a monumental ceiling fan changes an entire town’s attitude toward modernization. From the acacia scrub of the flatlands to a city bazaar jammed with vegetable stalls, tourists, and beggars, Crace’s invented world is as fabulous as it is eerily familiar.