The turn towards place in contemporary British literary fiction has been driven by questions of belonging and influence, framed through rising political tensions, economic uncertainties, and environmental concerns. In contemporary British literary fiction, the pastoral mode is used to depict and examine the relationships between people and place, and the ways that they are understood. The pastoral offers a means of focalizing and working through these concerns, and coming to terms with their impact on how the ideological and material landscapes of Britain are experienced and understood. Ali Smith’s novel plays out the pastoral movement between the urban and the rural to explore the divisions that define the contemporary cultural and ecological landscapes of Britain. Jim Crace manipulates the structures and relationships of the pastoral into new alignments, revealing new strategies for using the form to explore the relationships between humans and nature.