Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Image of the Novelist

"What I start with is a theme. I start with a big question that I want to ask myself, and I can ask it through Rebus. And in this book it was - it was double edged - who are the Scots? 'Cos we had this new Parliament, and we are starting to say, 'have we an identity that is separate from anybody else'? . . . And are the Scots racist? For years we had this huge blockage that said we've got no time for racism; we are too busy with religious bigotry."

The author of the Rebus novels, Ian Rankin, discusses with John Sutherland Fleshmarket Alley*, Anthony Powell and why it is crime fiction isn't taken seriously in an excellent Guardian book podcast.


*I read the American edition.

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