Described as Britain’s greatest living novelist, British author Ian McEwan’s books include Enduring Love, Atonement, On Chesil Beach, The Children Act and Nutshell. One of a generation of writers, including Martin Amis and Salman Rushdie, who established their literary credentials in the 1970’s Ian McEwan is a world-renowned writer whose novels have the rare gift of being as critically acclaimed as they are widely popular.
Born in 1948 in Aldershot, McEwan travelled widely as a child (his father was an army officer) before returning to study English at the University of Sussex. His first published fiction was a collection of unsettling, macabre short stories, First Love, Last Rites which won the Somerset Maugham Award. He followed that success with another critically acclaimed collection, Between the Sheets and his first novel The Cement Garden.
Hot on the heels of his screen adaptations of On Chesil Beach and The Children Act, McEwan turns his incisive authorial eye to the brave new world of artificial intelligence. Set in an alternative 1980’s, Machines Like Me is both a fascinating speculative novel and a meditation on the nature of love and jealousy that asks crucial questions about what lies within the human heart.
From Oscars to OperaSince then McEwan’s fiction has ranged widely, covering everything from obsessive desire in Enduring Love and climate change in Solar to his experimental novel Nutshell - a retelling of Hamlet narrated by a foetus. One of the world’s most feted novelists, he’s been nominated for the Booker Prize six times (winning the prize for Amsterdam in 1998). Many of his books have been adapted for screen including the Oscar-winning film of Atonement and a television adaptation of The Child in Time.
Consistently experimental, McEwan has also written screenplays, works for children and even a libretto and his works have been translated into more than 30 languages. The themes of his work have broadened through his career, encompassing large-scale social and political debates alongside personal dramas but throughout his interest remains on individual lives and choices, he says “I regard the novel as an investigation into the human condition”.
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