Hannah Kent

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Hannah Kent (born 1985) is an Australian writer.

In 2011 she won the inaugural Writing Australia Unpublished Manuscript Award for her novel Burial Rites. [1]

Published in May 2013, it tells the story of Agnes Magnúsdóttir, a servant in northern Iceland who was condemned to death after the murder of two men, one of whom was her employer, and became the last woman put to death in Iceland.[2] Kent was drawn to the idea of writing her story after a visit to the scene of the woman's execution in a lonely area of Iceland, close to where she stayed for some time as a Rotary student when she was 18.[3] The novel crafts a more ambiguous, sympathetic image of the life of a woman widely regarded in popular opinion to have been 'an inhumane witch, stirring up murder'.[4]

Burial Rites was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, and for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction (2014).[5]

A documentary about Kent's experiences in Iceland and writing Burial Rites was aired on ABC1 as an episode of Australian Story titled 'No More Than a Ghost,' on 1 July 2013.[6]

Her second novel The Good People (2016) is set in Ireland's County Kerry in 1825. It is the story of widow's struggle to find a cure for her grandson who has been struck down by a mysterious inability to speak and who is feared by others in this superstitious community as a changeling.[7]

In 2010, Kent co-founded the Australian literary journal Kill Your Darlings. She is completing a creative writing PhD at Flinders University.[8]


  1. ^ 'Monday musings on Australian literature: Unpublished manuscript awards,' Whispering Gums 13 March 2014.
  2. ^ Kent, Hannah 'Keep Calm and Carry On: An Unexpected Path to Publication', Kill Your Darlings, Issue 13 (April 2013)
  3. ^ Cassie Mercer, 'Cup of Tea With Hanna Kent, Author of the Burial Rites,' Inside History Magazine 30 October 2013
  4. ^ Hannah Kent, Burial Rites (2013) Picador ed. 2015 p.335.
  5. ^ Mark Brown (7 April 2014). "Donna Tartt heads Baileys women's prize for fiction 2014 shortlist". The Guardian. Retrieved April 11, 2014. 
  6. ^ 'No More Than A Ghost - Transcript,' Australian Story ABC 1 July 2013
  7. ^ [1] Publisher's website
  8. ^ "About". Hannah Kent. Retrieved 2016-01-28. 

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