September 10, 2013
In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.
Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Kevin Brockmeier, George Pelecanos, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Myla Goldberg, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.
Hannah Kent's Burial Rites is a powerful and haunting debut novel that tells the story of Agnes Magnúsdottir, the last person to be executed in Iceland in 1829.
The Sunday Times wrote of the book:
"A remarkable achievement ... Burial Rites will stand comparison with Margaret Atwood's Alias Grace and Peter Carey's True History of the Kelly Gang."
These are some of the songs deeply connected to Burial Rites. When I wrote the first draft of the manuscript, I would often begin my day by playing music that inspired me lyrically, or was intensely atmospheric. It was, I found, the best way I could remove myself from my immediate surroundings (my converted wardrobe in Melbourne's Fitzroy with a soundscape of tram bells), and enter a different emotional landscape.
The first track, 'I Speak Because I Can' is especially significant to the novel, as is the rest of Laura Marling's second album (also named 'I Speak Because I Can'). It was my record of choice for Burial Rites – for its beauty, her voice, its poetry. I listened to it so frequently that I can no longer hear any of those songs without immediately being reminded of what it felt like to create Agnes Magnúsdottir's story.
'I Speak Because I Can' - Laura Marling
'White Blank Page' - Mumford & Sons
'When I Was a Young Girl' - Feist
'Glósoli' - Sigur Rós
'Skinny Love' - Bon Iver
'Devil's Thunder' - Rachel Cantau
'Mojo Pin' - Whitley
'Sun Giant' - Fleet Foxes
'Go On' - Basia Bulat
'I Follow Rivers' (iTunes Session) - Lykke Li
'Gongu Hrolfsrimur' - Steindór Andersen
'Never Let Me Go' - Florence + the Machine
Hannah Kent and Burial Rites links:
also at Largehearted Boy:
100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
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