Rachel Joyce: "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry"

 - Image used under Creative Commons from Flickr user dirk huijssoon

Image used under Creative Commons from Flickr user dirk huijssoon

Rachel Joyce: "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry"

A new novel by author Rachel Joyce tells the story of an ordinary man who walks the length of England to keep a friend alive. “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” has been shortlisted for Britain’s most prestigious literary award, the Man Booker prize.

From Chaucer to John Bunyan, pilgrimages have always had a place in English literature. In a new novel, Harold Fry is a henpecked, 65-year-old, recently retired man living in a small town in Devon, England. When a letter arrives from a former colleague who is dying, He responds with a leap of faith, which surprises even him. Without premeditation, wearing a flimsy pair of boat shoes and a light jacket, he sets off to walk the length of England, believing his friend won’t die while he walks. “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry,” is a debut novel by actress-turned-playwright Rachel Joyce. She joins Diane to discuss her story about an ordinary man doing something extraordinary.


Rachel Joyce

award-winning writer of more than 20 plays for BBC Radio 4 and former actress, performing leading roles for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Read An Excerpt

Excerpted from "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry" by Rachel Joyce. Copyright © 2012 by Rachel Joyce. Excerpted by permission of Random House, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Please familiarize yourself with our Code of Conduct and Terms of Use before posting your comments.

Our address has changed!

The Diane Rehm Show is produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC.