Jim Crace may live in Birmingham, but his latest novel is set deep in the countryside. Harvest (Picador, £16.99) is the haunting story of the death of a village as its common land is enclosed for sheep farming.

Crace, winner of the Whitbread first Novel Award, The Guardian Fiction Award, Whitbread Novel of the Year, shortlisted for The Booker Prize and winner of The Book Critics Circle Award, is a regular at the country’s biggest literature festivals — Hay, Oxford, etc.

This weekend he will host a ploughman’s lunch and talk about his book in the tiny Oxfordshire village of Shenington, near Banbury.

One of the organiser of Shenfest, Victoria Moon, said: “Jim has been enticed to Shenington due partly to the support of Pan Macmillan, but also by the allure of our rural idyll.”

Unlike Crace’s unnamed fictional village, Shenington is very much alive, though there are plenty of signs of ‘lost villages’ in Banbury-shire. The story of loss is told in Harvest in the words of widower Walter Thirsk. As the crops are brought in, a group of strangers arrive and set up camp, according to custom, on the village green. But times are changing and the once hospitable villagers have become suspicious. In the same week, a surveyor arrives to draw a map of the old field system so that farming methods can be ‘improved’.

Through minute attention to detail, Crace creates a moral fable that stays with you long after you’ve turned the last page.

* Shenfest starts today with music and children’s events throughout the weekend.

After Jim Crace’s lunchtime talk on Saturday, another novelist, Liza Klaussmann, author of Tigers in Red Weather, will host a champagne tea at nearby stately home Upton House, owned by the National Trust. www.shenfest.co.uk