Today we say happy 56th birthday to Ian Rankin, and the date also marks the first appearance of Rebus in 1987. “It was 28 April. Wet, naturally, the grass percolating water as John Rebus walked to the grave of his father, dead five years to the day,” reads the line in Knots and Crosses, the first Rebus novel.
Over the course of the next year, Orion Publishing will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of Rebus with a series of events to honour one of crime fiction’s greatest detectives. Rankin will be embarking on an international tour, and Orion will be publishing new special editions of selected titles. Plus, two special events – in Edinburgh and London – will be announced.
In addition, a highlight of the year for Ian Rankin will be working in his upcoming role as UNESCO City of Literature Visiting Professor at the University of East Anglia. He starts in September, and you can expect even more of a crush to get onto the university’s creative writing course. Ian Rankin will be on campus during the autumn semester, and contribute to seminars, lectures, and tutorials.
“I was still a full-time student when I wrote Inspector Rebus’s first adventure,” says Ian Rankin. “That was in 1984/5 and Edinburgh University didn’t have a Creative Writing course. Almost no university did – and I remember being jealous of Ian McEwan and others who had learned from their experiences at the University of East Anglia. That’s why it is such a privilege and honour to accept UEA’s offer of a visiting professorship. I hope to learn, share, and teach, because as a writer you should never stop trying to hone your craft.”
Previous UNESCO City of Literature Visiting Professors have included Ali Smith, Timberlake Wertenbaker, James Lasdun, Margaret Atwood, and Tim Parks.
That’s not all – for readers the excitement continues in November when the 21st Rebus novel, Rather Be the Devil, arrives on the shelves. You can take a first look here.