Journalist, essayist, novelist and contributing editor at the London Review of Books James Meek was propelled to fame in 2005 with the publication of The People’s Act of Love, set during the Russian Civil War, which Antony Beevor described as ‘An exceptional event in English literature’. Now, with To Calais, In Ordinary Time, he returns to historical fiction with a thrilling evocation of Europe in the 14th Century, drawing uncanny parallels between the onset of the Black Death and our own ensuing environmental catastrophe.
If Britain’s prospects feel uncertain now, what can we learn by looking back to another time of chaos and confusion? To Calais, In Ordinary Time is James Meek’s spellbinding new novel set in England in 1348, as the Black Death is about to kill half of northern Europe. It’s a linguistically astonishing, hugely rewarding book full of love and adventure.