Ruth Scurr is a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow at Cambridge University. She is writing a book about Robespierre. (April 2004)

Homo Erectus

Human life is framed by two great mysteries. In Being Dead (1999), the British novelist Jim Crace gives a wholly secular answer to the question “What happens when we die?” Tightly organized, the novel centers on the elaborate conceit of a middle-aged married couple, brutally murdered on a beach, and …