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September 10, 2013

Book Notes - Hannah Kent "Burial Rites"

Burial Rites

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."

Stream a Spotify playlist of these tunes. If you don't have Spotify yet, sign up for the free service.


In her own words, here is Hannah Kent's Book Notes music playlist for her novel, Burial Rites:


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:

the author's website
the author's Wikipedia entry
video trailer for the book

Daily Express review
Guardian review
The List review
The London Magazine review
Observer review
Publishers Weekly review
Telegraph review

The Australian profile of the author
Bookselling This Week interview with the author
Metro profile of the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Book Notes (2012 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
Daily Downloads (free and legal daily mp3 downloads)
guest book reviews
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from the week's CD releases)
weekly music & DVD release lists


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