It has been stated that Ian McEwan is one of the most significant British writers since the 1970s. (Dominic Head, 2007). Since publishing a collection of short stories, First Love, Last Rites in 1976 and his first novel The Cement Garden in 1978 he has gone on to achieve both critical and popular success.
Head, D (2007), Ian McEwan, Manchester University Press, Manchester, p.1.
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Books on our shelves by Ian McEwan
- Black dogs
- The Cement garden
- On Chesil Beach
- The Children Act
- The Child in time
- Enduring love
- The Innocent: or a special relationship
- Machines like me
- Sweet tooth
Criticism and interpretation
- The Fiction of Ian McEwan: a reader's guide to essential criticism edited by Peter Childs
- Ian McEwan by Dominic Head [Contemporary British Novelists]
- Ian McEwan: the essential guide by Margaret Reynolds and Jonathan Noakes. [Vintage Living Texts] - Looks at Enduring love, The Child in time and Atonement
- Understanding Ian McEwan by David Malcolm
- Atonement with notes by Anne Rooney [York Notes]
- Enduring love for VCE English with notes by Mike Lee-Ack [The Leading Edge]
- Enduring love with notes by Roger Clark & Andy Gordon [Continuum Contemporaries]
Additional resources on our shelves
- 'First love, last rights' in The Penguin book of international short stories, 1945-1985, pp. 576-586.
- Rose Blanche with text by Ian McEwan, illustrated by Roberto Innocenti; based on a story by Christophe Gallaz. Summary: 'In this book I wanted to illustrate how a child experiences war without really understanding it ... I was a little child when the war passed in front of our door ... My father did not want to answer my questions, but I knew that something terrible was happening.' Roberto Innocenti
In 2014 Ian McEwan was one of the men who chose a poem that was then featured in Poems that make grown men cry: 100 men on the words that move them , edited by Anthony and Ben Holden. Ian McEwan chose 'An Exequy' by Peter Porter (1929-2010); pp. 195-200. An Exequy is an elegy written by Porter for his wife who had killed herself in her childhood attic bedroom in 1974.
Audio visual resources
- The First Tuesday Book Club with Jennifer Byrne. 2008. [DVD] Jennifer Byrne Presents: Peter, Paul and Ian - Three literary masters, Peter Carey, Paul Auster and Ian McEwan, took time out from the Adelaide Writers' Week to join a very excited Jennifer Byrne in studio. What surfaces is a revealing and at times fun interview about their lives, success, the writing process, rivalry and each other. (29 mins.)
Their are many online reviews of the books by Ian McEwan. Below you will find only a small sample.
Online book reviews
- Jorsison, Sam, 2011, Booker Club: Amsterdam, in The Guardian 6 December. - "characters without personality, comedy without mirth – how McEwan's worst novel won the Booker is a deep mystery."
- Pritchard, William H, 1998, 'Publish and perish', New York Times: Archives, 27 December.
- 'Books of the times; And when she was bad she was ... by Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times , March 7 2002
- Who's afraid of influence? by Geoff Dyer in The Guardian, 22nd September 2001
- 'Black dogs' by Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times, 3rd November 1982.
The Cement Garden
- 'Ian McEwan on The Cement Garden , sexual gothic and being in the toddlerhood of old age' in The Guardian, 27 January 2014. The writer's first novel brought him fame and a reputation for the macabre. As a new production of the book is about to be staged in London, he talks about whether he has lost his bite.
On Chesil Beach
- 'On Chesil Beach' by Ian McEwan by Tim Adams, in The Guardian, 25th March 2007
- 'On Chesil Beach' - a review in The New Yorker, 25th December 2006.
The Children Act
- 'The Children Act, by Ian McEwan puts beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses on trial' by Ron Charles, in The Washington Post, 2nd September 2014.
- 'Ian McEwan enters a legal minefield' by Jason Steger in Sydney Morning Herald, 19th September 2014.
- 'Ian McEwan leaves vulgarity behind in The Children Act' by Geordie Williamson, in The Australian, 30th August 2014.
The Child in Time
- 'The Child in tim'e by Michiko Kakutani, in The New York Times, 26th September 1987
- 'Grand delusion' by Sven Birkets in The New York Times, 25 January 1998.
- 'I think I'm right, therefore I am': Enduring love by Ian McEwan, review by Adam Mars Jones, in The Guardian, 7th September 1999.
The Innocent, or a special relationship
Machines like me
- McAlpin, Heller, 2109, 'In McEwan's latest, The 'Machine' is too much like you', NPR, 23 April
- Theroux, Marcel, 2019, 'Machines like me by Ian McEwan review - Intelligent mischief, The Guardian, 11 April.
- Williamson, Geordie, 2019, 'Caveat emptor: Ian McEwan's new novel suggests the future has its limitations', by Geordie Williamson, The Weekend Australian, April 20-21, pp. 16-17.
- Kakutani, Michiko, 2016,Nutshall: a tale about a baby-to-be (or not-to-be), by Michiko Kakutani, New York Times, 5 September/
- Adams, Tim, 2016,Nutshell by Ian McEwan - a tragic hero in the making, The Guardian, 30 August.
- Wilson, Francis, 2016, 'Too close to the son' Nutshell by Ian McEwan, Times Literary Supplement, 5 September.
- Lawson, Mark, 2005, 'Against the flow', The Guardian, 27th January 2005
- Urquhart, James, 2005, 'Saturday by Ian McEwan. The brain inside the skull beneath the skin', The Independent, 30 January/
- 'Solar by Ian McEwan. Ian McEwan excels at climate science but this one-dimensional protagonist makes you shudder' by Jason Cowley, in The Guardian, 14 March 2010.
- 'Solar by Ian McEwan' by Tibor Fisher, in The Telegraph, 7th March 2010.
- 'Sweet tooth by Ian McEwan' by Ian McEwan, in The New York Times, Sunday Book Review, 21st November 2012.
- 'Sweet tooth by Ian McEwan is a spy novel, but not a thriller' by Janelle Brown, in Los Angeles Times, 23d November, 2012.
- 'Faith and doubt at Ground Zero'. An interview with Ian McEwan with Frontline producer Helen Whitney, April 2002.
- Ian McEwan on books that have helped shape his novels, Interview by Alec Ash, for Five Books, 3rd September 2012.
- 'Ian McEwan on writing his new novel The Children Act and the real court case that inspired it' with Megan O'Grady, in Vogue, 9 September 2014.
- Paris Review: The Art of Fiction, no 173 Ian McEwan interviewed by Adam Begley
- Volmers, Eric, 2019, Ian McEwan talks new book Machines like Me: An investigation into a different history, robots, morality and justice', Canada.com, 29 April
- Zadie Smith interviews Ian McEwan in The Believer 2005.
- British Council for Literature - Page for Ian McEwan
Other resources on the web:
From The Guardian:
- Guardian Live: Ian McEwan - as it happened. Author Ian McEwan spoke about his latest book, The Children Act, in front of a live audience with the Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland. Here are some of the event highlights. (5:15m)
- Ian McEwan: 'I'm only 66 - my notebook is still full of ideas.' by Robert McCrum, in The Guardian, 31st August 2014. In Ian McEwan's book The Children Act, a high court judge must decide whether a teenage boy lives or dies. In his own life, the novelist feels mortality pressing in – but, he says, he's enjoying himself far too much to slow down just yet
- Ian McEwan pays impassioned tribute to Charlie Hebdo's courageous writers. 20 May 2015. In speech to US students, novelist says free expression sustains all other freedoms and without it ‘democracy is a sham’
- Ian McEwan: the law versus religious belief. 6th September 2014. The conjoined twins who would die without medical intervention, a boy who refused blood transfusions on religious grounds … The novelist on the stories from the family courts that inspired his latest book
From the New Yorker: