A profound masterpiece on war, loss and survival, rendered in prose of rhythmic precision, subtlety and exceptional sensitivity, by the Orange Prize-shortlisted author of Painter of Silence
Charlie's experiences at the Battle of Kohima and the months he spent lost in the remote jungles of Assam during the Second World War are now history. Home and settled on a farm in Norfolk and newly married to Claire, he is one of the lucky survivors. Starting a family and working the land seem the best things a man can be doing.
But a chasm exists between them. Memories flood Charlie's mind; at night, on rain-slicked roads and misty mornings in the fields, the past can feel more real than the present. What should be said and what left unsaid? Is it possible to find connection and forge a new life in the wake of unfathomable horror?
A beautifully conceived, deftly controlled and delicately wrought meditation on the isolating impact of war and the inescapable reach of the past, Georgina Harding's haunting and lyrical novel questions the very nature of survival, and what it is that the living owe the dead.
About the Author
Georgina Harding is the author of three novels: The Solitude of Thomas Cave, The Spy Game and, most recently, Painter of Silence , which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2012. Her first book was a word of non-fiction, In Another Europe , recording a journey she made across Romania in 1988 during the worst times of the Ceausescu regime. It was followed by Tranquebar: A Season in South India , which documented the lives of the people in a small fishing village on the Coromandel coast. Georgina Harding lives in London and on a farm in the Stour Valley, Essex.
Audacious and moving ... Elegiac, often elliptical vignettes that immaculately simulate Charlie's shame, regret and grief ... Masterly * Sunday Times *
A quietly powerful novel * Observer *
Tremendously imaginative, really compassionate ... Manages to make them almost tangibly real, really immersive -- Frances Macmillan * BBC Radio 4 `Open Book' *
A lyrical novel about war and memory * Guardian, Ones to Watch 2018 *
Over several restrained, poetic novels, Georgina Harding has carved out a space for herself as one of the most incisive explorers of physical adversity and its psychological effects ... Harding's graceful style and self-control illuminate the crushing weight of history on the individual, and how different strategies for survival can cause a lifetime of pain and regret ... Land of the Living is a poised and carefully crafted novel of powerful, submerged emotions, taking an under-explored aspect of Britain's war and ?nding in it something graceful and strange, mythic as well' * Herald *