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Three journeys. One road. England, 1348. A gentlewoman flees an odious arranged marriage, a Scots proctor sets out for Avignon, and a young plowman in search of freedom is on his way to volunteer with a company of archers. All come together on the road to Calais. Coming in their direction from across the English Channel is the Black Death, the plague that will wipe out half of the population of Northern Europe. As the journey unfolds, overshadowed by the archers' past misdeeds and clerical warnings of the imminent end of the world, the wayfarers must confront the nature of their loves and desires. A tremendous feat of language and empathy, it summons a medieval world that is at once uncannily plausible, utterly alien, and eerily reflective of our own. James Meek's extraordinary To Calais, In Ordinary Time is a novel about love, class, faith, loss, gender, and desire--set against one of the biggest cataclysms of human history.
About the Author
James Meek is the author of six novels including The People's Act of Love, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won both the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and the Scottish Arts Council Award. It has been published in more than thirty countries. Meek's last novel The Heart Broke In was shortlisted for the Costa Book Award and he has also written two collections of short stories and two books of nonfiction, Private Island, which won the 2015 Orwell Prize, and Dreams of Leaving and Remaining. He is a Contributing Editor to the London Review of Books and writes regularly for the Guardian and New York Times. He lives in London.