March 29, 2010 on ABC Fora TV
How does an atheist commemorate death? When British author Jim Crace's staunchly atheist father died, he demanded that none of his family be present for the funeral or collect the ashes. In this talk at Adelaide Writers' Week, Jim Crace discusses why he regrets honouring his father's wishes. It was this dilemma that inspired him to write "Being Dead" a novel that seeks to find narratives of comfort in death that aren't bound to religion.
British author Jim Crace's first novel "Continent" was published in 1986, and won both the Guardian Fiction Prize and the Whitbread First Novel Award. Since then he had written eight more books, including "Quarantine" which was the winner of the 1998 Whitbread Novel of the Year award and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. "Being Dead" won the National Book Critics Circle award for fiction in 2000. His latest novel "All That Follows" was published in 2010.
Jane Sullivan is an Australian literary journalist and a regular contributor to The Age.