A week in arts: Ian Rankin, novelist


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The Independent Culture



I'm reading What Dies in Summer, a first novel by Tom Wright. It's about two young cousins in the American South, sexual awakenings and domestic abuse. It has a terrific sense of atmosphere and the voices are very realistic. It does remind me of To Kill a Mockingbird. I'm also reading Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose, a guide for people who like books and those who want to write them. It's actually got me feeling very self-conscious about how I use paragraphs in my books.


I watched Safe with Jason Statham 'cause I'm a huge Statham fanboy and I'm planning to see Alien and Alien 2.


The last album I bought was Patti Smith Banga and I think it's her best album in a long time. It's not as harsh as her previous stuff, it's actually quite soulful. There's a song dedicated to and written about Amy Winehouse. I'm also listening to the new Hawkwind album, Onward. It's spacy, it's heavy and it's a miracle they're still going.

Visual Arts

The last exhibition I went to was Leonardo Da Vinci in London. "The Scottish Colourist Series: FCB Cadell" is a good show at the National Galleries Scotland in Edinburgh. I collect modern art: 20th century, usually Scottish artists.

Ian Rankin's 'The Impossible Dead' is out now

Interview by Alison King