New Writers Awards 2012/13: Graeme Macrae Burnet

Graeme Macrae Burnet

Fiction

Graeme Macrae Burnet was born in Kilmarnock in 1967. He studied English Literature at Glasgow University before spending some years teaching in France, the Czech Republic and Portugal. He then took an M.Litt in International Security Studies at St Andrews University and fell into a series of jobs in television. These days he lives in Glasgow. He has been writing since he was a teenager, but has just completed his first book, The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau, a literary crime novel set in a small town in France. He is currently researching his next novel which revolves around the murder of a village birleyman in nineteenth century Wester Ross. He likes Georges Simenon, the films of Michael Haneke and black pudding.

 

Extract from The Disappearance of Adèle Bedeau

It was an evening like any other at the Restaurant de la Poste. Behind the counter the proprietor, Pasteur, had poured himself a pastis, an indication that no more meals would be served and that any further service would be provided by his wife, Marie, and the waitress, Adèle. It was nine o’clock.

Manfred Baumann was standing at his usual place by the bar. Lemerre, Petit and Cloutier sat around the table by the door, the day’s newspapers folded in a pile between them. On their table was a carafe of red wine, three tumblers, two packets of cigarettes, an ashtray and Lemerre’s reading glasses. They would share three carafes before the night was out. Pasteur opened his newspaper on the bar and leaned over it on his elbows. He was developing a bald patch which he attempted to disguise by combing back his hair. Marie busied herself sorting cutlery.

Adèle served coffee to the two remaining diners and began wiping down the waxcloths on the other tables, pushing the crumbs onto the floor that she would later sweep. Manfred observed her. His place was not exactly at the bar, but at the hatch through which food was brought from the kitchen. He continually had to adjust his position to allow the staff to pass, but nobody ever thought to ask him to move. From his post he could survey the restaurant and strangers often mistook him for the proprietor. 

 

Comment

“I am absolutely delighted to receive a New Writers Award. It’s a fantastic confidence boost and financially will enable me to carry out the research for my next project. I also greatly look forward to reaping the benefits of the mentoring process and meeting my fellow recipients.”