- Published: 05/03/2007
- ISBN: 9781862079236
- 288 pages
Return To Akenfield
Ronald Blythe’s 1969 book Akenfield – a moving portrait of English country life told in the voices of the farmers and villagers themselves – is a modern classic. In 2004, writer and reporter Craig Taylor returned to the village in Suffolk on which Akenfield was based. Over the course of several months, he sought out locals who had appeared in the original book to see how their lives had changed, he met newcomers to discuss their own views, and he interviewed Ronald Blythe himself, now in his eighties. Young farmers, retired orchardmen and Eastern European migrant workers talk about the nature of farming in an age of computerization and encroaching supermarkets; commuters, weekenders and retirees discuss the realities behind the rural idyll; and the local priest, teacher and more describe the daily pleasures and tribulations of village life. Together, they offer a panoramic and revealing portrait of rural English society at a time of great change.
Gentle, subtle, absorbing ... the most complex and supple account of that much-discussed idea, "modern rural life", that I have ever read
Robert Macfarlane, author of MOUNTAINS OF THE MIND and THE WILD PLACES
From the Same Author
Here are the voices of London – rich and poor, native and immigrant, women and men – witnessed by Craig Taylor, an acclaimed journalist, playwright and writer, who spent five years exploring the city and listening to its residents. From the woman whose voice announces the stations on the London Underground to the man who plants the trees along Oxford Street; from a Pakistani currency trader to a Guardsman at Buckingham Palace – together, these voices and many more, paint a vivid, epic and wholly fresh portrait of Twenty-First Century London.
Craig Taylor on Granta.com
Essays & Memoir | The Online Edition
Return to Akenfield
‘Akenfield did not bow to sentimental ideas of the countryside as idyll’