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J. L. Carr (James Joseph Lloyd Carr) Biography

(1912–1994), (James Joseph Lloyd Carr), A Day in Summer, A Season in Sinji, The Harpole Report

English novelist, born in Carlton Miniott, Yorkshire, educated at Castleford Secondary School, Yorkshire. Carr was a schoolteacher for many years, and served as an Intelligence Officer in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. His first published novel, A Day in Summer (1963), a characteristic pot-pourri of convention and fancy, was followed by A Season in Sinji (1968), The Harpole Report (1972), and How Steeple Sinderby Wanderers Won the F.A. Cup (1975). Carr's best-known novel, A Month in the Country (1980), is the story of Birkin, a shell-shocked survivor of the First World War, who arrives at a north-country village with the task of uncovering a medieval wall-painting in the village church. As the work progresses and summer succumbs to autumn, Birkin becomes absorbed in the rhythms of village life and the lives of its characters. Among the several plot layers, involving the past and present, is the unravelling of a local family legend involving the unburying, by a young archaeologist, of a fourteenth-century ancestor buried in the church grounds which is the climax of the book. In The Ballad of Pollock's Crossing (1985) Carr gives full expression to his gift of comic fantasy, removing in 1929 a young Bradford schoolteacher to the American Midwest where he rearranges the syllabus, offering his class the Indian view of the Sioux's defeat at Wounded Knee instead of the obligatory Hiawatha exposition. Latterly, Carr founded his own press, publishing from a back bedroom curious dictionaries and maps.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Henry Carey Biography to Chekhov Biography