Death has lost his parchment of people to 'unclay' in a small English village, so he decides to go on holiday. What begins as a whimsical stopover in a small village full of quaint characters quickly turns dark. There are power struggles afoot and some bits of startling violence all written in a classic English style. —Jack— From Staff Favorites List
New Directions is proud to present one of the most spellbinding novels you will read this year, and certainly the weirdest.
First published in 1931, Unclay glows with an unworldly light--Death has come to the small village of Dodder to deliver a parchment with the names of two local mortals and the fatal word unclay upon it. When he loses the precious sheet, he is at a loss, and also free of his errand. Hungry to taste the sweet fruits of human life, Mr. John Death, as he is now known, takes a holiday in Dorsetshire and rests from his reaping. The village teems with the old virtues (love, kindness, patience) and the old sins (lust, avarice, greed). What unfolds is a witty, earthy, metaphysical, and delicious novel of enormous moral force and astonishing beauty.