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Signals of Distress

A Novel

Jim Crace

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Signals of Distress tells the story of an American emigration vessel grounded off the coast of England in the 1830's. While the Belle of Wilmington waits to be refloated, the isolated community of Wherrytown offers what hospitality it can to the crew, but the Americans prove to be a disturbing presence. A brilliantly imagined historical fiction about emigration, dislocation, and the price of liberty, this novel confirms Crace's reputation as a writer who is gifted almost beyond belief.

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Signals of Distress
1. THE 'BELLE' AND THE 'TAR'Both men were en voyage and sleeping in their berths. Hard winds swept in and put their ships ashore.The coastal steampacket, Ha'porth of Tar, on which Aymer Smith had his cabin, had lifted before the wind that night as if it meant to leave the water and find a firmer passage in the clouds. It arrived at dawn off Wherrytown, hastened by the storm on its short journey along the Channel. Ten in the morning was its scheduled time of arrival. Dawn was too early for the harbour lightermen to be at work. No one with any sense was up and out in such a
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Jim Crace

  • Jim Crace is the author of seven other novels, including Being Dead, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction, and, most recently, Genesis. He lives in Birmingham, England.
  • Jim Crace
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Signals of Distress

A Novel

Jim Crace

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