Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan

McEwan was born in Aldershot in England and spent much of his childhood in East Asia, Germany and North Africa, where his Scottish army officer father, David McEwan was posted. He was educated at Woolverstone Hall School, the University of Sussex and the University of East Anglia, where he was the first graduate of Malcolm Bradbury's pioneering creative writing course.

He has been married twice. His second wife, Annalena McAfee, was formerly the editor of The Guardian's Review section. In 1999, his first wife, Penny Allen, absconded with McEwan's 13-year-old son after a court in Brittany, France, ruled that the boy should be returned to his father, who had been granted sole custody over him and his 15-year-old brother.[1]

In March and April 2004, just months after the British government invited him to dinner with American First Lady Laura Bush, McEwan was denied entry into the United States by the Department of Homeland Security for not having the proper visa.[2] After several days' publicity in the British press, McEwan was admitted because, as he quoted a customs official telling him, "We still don't want to let you in, but this is attracting a lot of unfavourable publicity."[3] The US government later sent a letter of apology.[4]

McEwan is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was awarded the Shakespeare Prize by the Alfred Toepfer Foundation, Hamburg, in 1999. Ian McEwan is also a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association. He was awarded a CBE in 2000.[5]

In 2002, Ian McEwan discovered that he had a brother who had been given up for adoption during World War II - the story became public in 2007.[6] The brother, a bricklayer named David Sharpe, was born six years earlier than McEwan, when his mother was married to a different man. Sharpe has the same two parents as McEwan but was born from an affair between McEwan's parents that occurred before their marriage. After her first husband was killed in combat, McEwan's mother married her lover, and Ian was born a few years later.[7]

[edit] Works
His first published work was a collection of short stories, First Love, Last Rites (1975), which won the Somerset Maugham Award in 1976. The Cement Garden (1978) and The Comfort of Strangers (1981) were his two earliest novels. The nature of these works caused him to be nicknamed "Ian Macabre" .[8] These were followed by three novels of some success in the 1980s and early 1990s.

His 1997 novel, Enduring Love, about a person with de Clerambault's syndrome, is regarded by many as a masterpiece, though it was not shortlisted for the Booker Prize.[9][10] In 1998, he was awarded the Booker Prize for his novel Amsterdam. His next novel, Atonement, received considerable high acclaim; Time Magazine named it the best novel of 2002, and it was short-listed for the Booker Prize. His next work, Saturday, follows an especially eventful day in the life of a successful neurosurgeon. Henry Perowne, the main character, lives in a house on a well known square in central London, where McEwan now lives after having relocated from Oxford. Saturday won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for 2005. His most recent novel, On Chesil Beach, was shortlisted for the 2007 Booker Prize.

McEwan has also written a number of produced screenplays, a stage play, children's fiction, and an oratorio.

As of August 2007 McEwan is writing the libretto to an opera called "For You", which tells the story of a composer whose sexual and professional prowess have passed their peak. It is being composed by Michael Berkeley and is set to be performed in 2008. [11]

[edit] Controversy
In late 2006, Lucilla Andrews' autobiography No Time for Romance became the focus of a posthumous controversy when it was alleged that McEwan plagiarized from this work while writing his highly acclaimed novel Atonement.[8][12] McEwan publicly protested his innocence; in The Guardian newspaper, he responded to the claim, stating he had acknowledged Andrews' work in the author's note at the end of Atonement.[13][14] McEwan has been defended by many leading writers, including the American novelist Thomas Pynchon.[8] Comments had also been made about the questionable originiality of his first novel, The Cement Garden, and the writer Claire Henderson-Davis suggested to McEwan that his book On Chesil Beach had been inspired by the name of her mother, and the life stories of her parents.[15] Once again, McEwan denied this claim.

[edit] Bibliography

The Cement Garden (1978)
The Comfort of Strangers (1981)
The Child in Time (1987)
The Innocent (1989)
Black Dogs (1992)
Enduring Love (1997)
Amsterdam (1998)
Atonement (2001)
Saturday (2005)
On Chesil Beach (2007)
Short story collections

First Love, Last Rites (1975)
In Between the Sheets (1978)
Children's fiction

Rose Blanche (1985)
The Daydreamer (1994)

The Imitation Game (1981)

The Ploughman's Lunch (1985)
Sour Sweet (1989)
The Good Son (1993)

or Shall We Die? (1983)

For You (2008)

Film adaptations

The Cement Garden (1993)
The Comfort of Strangers (1990)
The Innocent (1993)
Enduring Love (2004)
Atonement (2007)

[edit] External links
Ian McEwan's Official Website
Ian McEwan in Guardian Books: Authors section
Powells.com interview
Salon.com interview
Dissent Magazine article
1990 and 1992 audio interviews with Don Swaim at Wired for Books.
New York Times article on "Atonement" controversy
McEwan Interview on The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos

[edit] Further reading
Byrnes, Christina (1995), Sex and Sexuality in Ian McEwan's Work, Nottingham, England: Pauper's Press. ISBN 094665056X
Byrnes, Christina (2002), The Work of Ian McEwan: A Psychodynamic Approach, Nottingham, England: Paupers' Press. ISBN 0946650756
Childs, Peter (2005), The Fiction of Ian McEwan (Readers' Guides to Essential Criticism), Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 1403919097
D'Eliva, Gaetano, and Christopher Williams, (1986), La Nuova Letteratura Inglese Ian McEwan, Schena Editore.
Jensen, Morten H. (2005), The Effects of Conflict in the Novels of Ian McEwan - (Adobe Acrobat *.PDF document)
Malcolm, David (2002), Understanding Ian McEwan, University of South Carolina. ISBN 1570034362
Pedot, Richard (1999), Perversions Textuelles dans la Fiction d'Ian McEwan, Editions l'Harmattan.
Reynolds, Margaret, and Jonathan Noakes, (2002), Ian McEwan: The Essential Guide, Vintage. ISBN 0099437554
Ryan, Kiernan (1994), Ian McEwan (Writers and Their Work), Northcote House. ISBN 074630742X
Rooney, Anne (2006), Atonement, York Notes. ISBN 1405835613
Slay Jr., Jack (1996), Ian McEwan (Twayne's English Authors Series), Twayne Publishers. ISBN 0805745785
Williams, Christopher (1993), Ian McEwan's The Cement Garden and the Tradition of the Child/Adolescent as 'I-NarratorPDF (209 KiB), Biblioteca della Ricerca, Schena Editore. - (Adobe Acrobat *.PDF document)

[edit] References
^ "Novelist's ex-wife 'gagged'", BBC News, 1999-09-07. Retrieved on 2006-06-03.
^ Gillan, Audrey. "Novelist McEwan barred from US", Guardian Unlimited, 2004-04-01. Retrieved on 2006-06-03.
^ Harden, Blaine. "Acclaimed novelist denied entry to U.S.", San Francisco Chronicle, 2004-04-03. Retrieved on 2006-06-03.
^ "US apologises for barring author", BBC News, 2004-04-22. Retrieved on 2006-06-03.
^ Ian McEwan. Contemporary Writers. British Council. Retrieved on 2006-06-03.
^ Cowell, Alan. "Ian McEwan's life takes twist with discovery of a brother", International Herald Tribune, 2007-01-17. Retrieved on 2007-03-23.
^ "Novelist McEwan discovers brother", BBC News, 2007-01-11. Retrieved on 2007-03-22.
^ a b c Walsh, John. "Ian McEwan: Here's the twist", Independent Online Edition, 2007-01-27. Retrieved on 2007-03-22.
^ Knorr, Katherine. "Enduring Love", International Herald Tribune, 1997-10-09. Retrieved on 2007-03-22.
^ Ian McEwan's Family Values. Boston Review. Retrieved on 2007-03-21.
^ Brooks, Richard. "Novelist McEwan turns hand to opera", The Sunday Times, 2007-08-26. Retrieved on 2007-08-26.
^ Langdon, Julia. "Ian McEwan accused of stealing ideas from romance novelist", Daily Mail, Associated Newspapers Ltd., 2006-11-25. Retrieved on 2006-12-14.
^ McEwan, Ian. "An inspiration, yes. Did I copy from another author? No", Guardian Unlimited, 2006-11-27. Retrieved on 2007-03-22.
^ Hoyle, Ben. "McEwan hits back at call for atonement", Times Online, Times Newspapers Ltd., 2006-11-27. Retrieved on 2006-11-27.

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