Ian Rankin fans will enjoy reading his conversation with the Indian communist leader Prakash Karat, who has read all his 17 Inspector Rebus novels and did his Master's in politics at the University of Edinburgh, in Rankin's hometown.
Rankin talks about his working-class parents, his being the first from his family to go to university — he read English at the University of Edinburgh — and his early struggles as a writer. Knots and Crosses, his first Rebus novel published in 1987, wasn't a hit with the critics and readers. Instead, piquantly, he became a crime suspect as the plot resembled a murder case, he says!
Success came only 10 years later with Black and Blue, his eighth Rebus book.
Now, says the Hindu, "Ian Rankin is the best-selling writer of crime fiction in the United Kingdom, accounting for 10 per cent of all its crime book sales."
The Indian newspaper published his conversation with Karat during his visit to India last month under the headline, "Crime fiction is about social inequality". You can read it here and here.
The headline is a direct quote from Rankin.
Discussing politics and crime fiction with the Indian communist leader, he says:
I think crime fiction is almost like a product of capitalism. It’s about social inequality. Why do people do bad things to each other? Much of the time, it’s economic. It’s to do with basic human nature — greed, a sense of injustice, other people having things that you want, a sense of grievance that something’s happened at work. That’s what I like about crime fiction specifically. It tells us that the civilised world is just a veneer, a very thin veneer.
Continue reading “Social inequality and sense of place in crime fiction”