EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Hannah Kent, author of Burial Rites, talks to John Purcell from the Sydney Writer’s Festival

by |June 26, 2014

Grab a copy of Burial Rites here

Burial Rites

by Hannah Kent

In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnusdottir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of two men.

Agnes is sent to wait out the time leading to her execution on the farm of District Officer Jon Jonsson, his wife and their two daughters. Horrified to have a convicted murderess in their midst, the family avoids speaking with Agnes. Only Toti, the young assistant reverend appointed as Agnes’ spiritual guardian, is compelled to try to understand her, as he attempts to salvage her soul. As the summer months fall away to winter and the hardships of rural life force the household to work side by side, Agnes’ ill-fated tale of longing and betrayal begins to emerge. And as the days to her execution draw closer, the question burns: did she or didn’t she?

Based on a true story, Burial Rites is a deeply moving novel about personal freedom: who we are seen to be versus who we believe ourselves to be, and the ways in which we will risk everything for love. In beautiful, cut-glass prose, Hannah Kent portrays Iceland’s formidable landscape, where every day is a battle for survival, and asks, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?

Grab a copy of Burial Rites here

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About the Contributor

Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.

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Comments

  • Priscilla Gormley

    June 30, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    A very interesting interview, in that the questions were not the “Ten Terrifying Questions” type, but had real depth and curiosity that fed my thoughts about the book. John Purcell asked well thought out questions that revealed more than I had expected. I rarely watch an interview through, but this was an exception. Thank you.

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