Author of the Month: Gordon Burn
Selected by the Bookshop
Our Author of the Month for October is the consistently unpredictable Gordon Burn. In four novels and five works of non-fiction he explored, in extraordinary forensic detail, issues of fame, infamy and guilt as they engage and enmesh with crime, sport and popular culture. His first book Somebody's Husband, Somebody's Son deals with Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, and serial killers appear in later works, notably Happy Like Murderers about Fred and Rosemary West, and his speculative novel Alma Cogan, which features prominently the Moors murderer Myra Hindley and which won the Whitbread First Novel Prize in 1991. These were books he found it traumatic but essential to write, just as they are essential but traumatic to read.
A prize in his honour was launched in 2013 ‘to reward fiction or non-fiction written in the English language, which in the opinion of the judges most successfully represents the spirit and sensibility of Gordon's literary methods: novels which dare to enter history and interrogate the past...literature which challenges perceived notions of genre and makes us think again about just what it is that we are reading.’ This year’s winner will be announced on 13 October.
From the publisher:
It seemed the case of the notorious Yorkshire Ripper was finally closed when Peter Sutcliffe was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1981. But in the early 1980s, Gordon Burn spent three years living in Sutcliffe’s home town of Bingley,…