Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.
Signals of Distress (1994)
by Jim Crace
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0880014865, Paperback)
November, 1836. A fierce gale beaches an American steamer off the English coast, injuring an African slave below decks and eventually disgorging 300 head of cattle and an innful of rowdy American sailors into a hardscrabble fishing village. The same storm drives into port a ship from London, bearing one Aymer Smith, the foolish well-intentioned prig who will deprive the town of its livelihood, free the American slave, and set into motion a whole series of unforeseeable, tragicomic events. Chosen by Publisher's Weekly as one of the best books of 1995, Signals of Distress, Jim Crace's fourth novel, once again displays the author's gift for inventing richly strange and believable worlds that uncannily foretell our own.
(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 15 Jan 2013 19:15:35 -0500)
Signals of Distress tells the story of an American emigration vessel grounded off the coast of England in the 1830s. 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 a disturbing presence, not least Otto, the ship's slave-cook. When Aymer Smith, the virginal soap manufacturer, arrives with his unwelcome news, tragedy and farce are unavoidable. So much the worse for Otto that Aymer is full of ideas for reform and universal brotherhood. So much the worse for Wherrytown. Signals of Distress is at once an ingenious story of shipwreck, enslavement, and emancipation, a profoundly moving tale of a culture displaced by technology, and a brilliant evocation of a small town in nineteenth-century England for whom a wreck was not a signal of distress but evidence of some better life beyond the sea.
Is this you?
Become a LibraryThing Author.