The Dig

The Dig

by Cynan Jones
Granta Books, 2014

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Built of the interlocking fates of a badger-baiter and a farmer struggling through lambing season, The Dig unfolds in a stark rural setting where man, animal, and land are at loggerheads.

There is no bucolic pastoral here: this is pure, pared-down rural realism, crackling with compressed energy, from a writer of uncommon gifts.

He felt the people look at him then with faces like the one he imagined he wore at that moment. Like they were aware he was about to be flattened by some terrible great thing.
"...his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.."
He hears again the parson speak, words that chiselled into his brain like into the gravestone slate about him. He refused that. I don't think it is true. He looked down at her and spoke as if to her. I don't think it's true. I think a place can remember.

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