Our September Book of the Month: His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet
His Bloody Project tells the story of a fictional 19th-century triple murder in a remote crofting community, through the memoir of the accused and documents such as court transcripts, medical reports, police statements and newspaper articles. The book was shortlisted for the 2016 Booker Prize – and while Paul Beatty's The Sellout took home the award that year, His Bloody Project remained the bestseller of the bunch until the winner was announced. This week, its author Graeme Macrae Burnet joins us in the studio to tell us about the inspirations behind His Bloody Project, what it was like to be nominated for the prize again with Case Study in 2022 and what we can expect from him next.
In this episode Jo and James speak to Graeme about:
- The plot of His Bloody Project and the real-life inspiration behind it
- How the Booker Prize transformed his writing career
- The power of ambiguity and allowing readers to make up their own minds
- Why thinking about readers' reactions while writing can undermine the authenticity of a story
- Why he doesn't plan his novels, so the process of writing remains somewhat of a mystery
- His lifelong fascination with the idea of madness and how views of mental health have changed over the centuries
- What we can expect from him next
- His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet
- The Sellout by Paul Beatty
- Hot Milk by Deborah Levy
- Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh
- All That Man Is by David Szalay
- Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien
- I, Pierre Riviére, Having Slaughtered My Mother, My Sister, and My Brother edited by Michel Foucault
- Madness and Civilization by Michel Foucault
- Case Study by Graeme Macrae Burnet
A full transcript of the episode is available at our website.
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