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Monday, May 03, 2004

Maybe I should change the blog title 

Because bloody hell, is there no end to Ian Rankin-related content? It's awfully hard to keep up, that's for sure, but this lengthy profile in the Sunday Herald is well worth reading. Basically an "everything you've always wanted to know" primer, it deals with Rankin's early days as a struggling writer before being transformed into the successful author that he is now. All thanks to his beloved character Rebus, who's getting rather long in the tooth:

The Rebus franchise is nearing an end. There will be only two more books after Fleshmarket Close (ed., that was the title when the piece was done, it may not be the title anymore), by which time Rankin figures he will be nearly 50, a good moment to move on to something new. Is he apprehensive about finishing with such a lucrative character? “Uh, yeah. Especially sitting in a house that’s mortgaged up to the hilt. But not as apprehensive as my publishers probably are. I think my readers will come with me whatever I choose to write.”

The article goes into detail about the new book, and puts the Scotsman article I commented on yesterday, with its backlash flavoring, in a much better context:

Like most of Rankin’s work, the book had its genesis in a real-life event, in this case the fatal stabbing of Firsat Yildiz, a Turkish Kurd in the Sighthill area of Glasgow in 2001. “That murder flagged it up for me,” he says. “Scots have always prided ourselves on our openness; we weren’t like the English, we were very close to our European neighbours, and very welcoming. I always used to say that we were too busy with bigotry to have any time for racism, but it turns out we have both. It’s something that we have to deal with; we have to discuss it and think about it.”

In any case, the new book will be political and no doubt controversial--but remember, it's not finished yet...!

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