Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ian Rankin Plays the Minx

There’s been something of the minx about Ian Rankin lately. Late last year, in an interview with Danuta Kean of The Independent, one of his comments started what has become known as the “Case of the Bloodthirsty Lesbians” and has sparked controversy in the crime-fiction community. (Including here, where judging by the number of comments received, a piece by Ali Karim a few days ago seems to have fanned the flames.)

Now Rankin has told The Guardian that something he said at the Edinburgh Book Festival about J.K. Rowling’s new project was a “joke that got out of hand.”
A report that his wife, Miranda, had seen J.K. Rowling “scribbling away” in an Edinburgh café, supposedly hard at work on a detective novel set in the Scottish capital, was dismissed as a classic silly season story when the Guardian contacted him by telephone earlier today.

“This is a joke that got out of hand,” said Rankin, describing how the remark was made on stage during the course of a festival event.

“There were 600 people in the audience, and only one person didn’t laugh,” he added.
With rumors of Rowling’s work on a detective novel squashed in the gate, speculation on what her next project might be continues.

According to her agency, “J.K. Rowling is taking a well-earned break following the English language publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and there are no firm plans as yet as to what her next book may be.”

Which doesn’t mean that her millions of fans won’t continue to try and guess.

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