England, 1348. A gentlewoman, a Scottish proctor and a young ploughman all come together on the road to Calais. Meanwhile, coming in their direction from across the Channel is the Black Death, the plague that will wipe out half of the population of Northern Europe. To Calais, In Ordinary Time is a tremendous feat of language and empathy, summoning up a medieval world that is at once uncannily plausible, utterly alien and eerily reflective of our own. The result is an experimental and radical, yet deeply readable, narrative, set against one of the biggest cataclysms of human history. This is James Meek’s first historical novel since his Booker-longlisted The People’s Act of Love. James will be chatting about the book with James Elliott.
‘Fans of intelligent historical fiction will be enthralled by a story so original and so fully imagined.’ Hilary Mantel