‘Waiting On’ Wednesday: ‘Burial Rites’ by Hannah Kent

Hosted by Jill@ Breaking the Spine

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

Expected publication May 2013

Published by Picador/Pan MacMillian Australia

Burial Rites is the debut novel by Australian novelist Hannah Kent. This novel is set to strike a stirr in the book community and is said to be one of the books everyone simple must read. The novel it self caused a bidding war between international publishing houses when it went up for aution, with Picador/Pan MacMillan coming away as the novel’s publisher.  Having written the novel, Hannah thought she might try and sell it in the hope of rasing some money to support her through to the end of her PHD (she is currently studying at Flinders University). Teh figure she recieved for the book is estimated to be well and truly adequate (and then some) to help her achieve these goals.

Hannah Kent was born in Adelaide in 1985. During her teenage years she travelled about, and is on one of these trips around Iceland while on Exchange she first learnt about Agnes Magnusdottir. Hannah is the co-founder and a deputy editor of the Australian Literary journal Kill Your Darlings. In 2011 she won the inaugural Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award. All of which, helps to well and truly establish Hannah Kent as a must read author with a bright and long career ahead of her.

Without further ado, the good reads synopsis:

In northern Iceland, 1829, Agnes Magnúsdóttir is condemned to death for her part in the brutal murder of two men. Agnes is sent to wait out the months leading up to her execution on the farm of district officer Jón Jónsson, his wife and their two daughters. Horrified to have a convicted murderess in their midst, the family avoid contact with Agnes. Only Tóti, the young assistant priest appointed her spiritual guardian, will listen to Agnes’s side of the story. As the year progresses and the hardships of rural life force everyone to work side by side, the family’s attitude to Agnes starts to change, until one winter night, she begins her whispered confession to them, and they realize that all is not as they had assumed. Based on a true story, Burial Rites is an astonishing and moving novel about the truths we claim to know and the ways in which we interpret what we’re told. In beautiful, cut-glass prose, Hannah Kent portrays Iceland’s formidable landscape, in which 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?

This past week, I was lucky enough to recieve an advanced readers copy of this novel and I am very much looking forward to reading it.


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