Ian McEwan Appears at UT (and in the Pages of 'The New Yorker')
The sprawling profile is a good way get excited about the Booker Prize-winning author's upcoming reading
By Kimberley Jones,
9:40PM, Thu. Feb. 19, 2009
As if we needed any more prodding to get frothing at the bit about Ian McEwan’s upcoming reading at UT in March, this week’s The New Yorker has a 14-page-long profile about the Booker Prize-winning author of Amsterdam, Atonement, and Saturday. Daniel Zalewski’s piece is perhaps too exhaustive for primer purposes, but it’s fascinating stuff for the McEwan junkie, linking real-life events to their fictional counterparts (like his own Black Dogs encounter and a gradual hardening against faith in favor of science). There’s also juicy bits about his friends in the Brit lit pantheon (smoking pot and talking poetry with Martin Amis in the Seventies; secreting Salman Rushdie away to a Cotswolds cottage shortly after the fatwa was issued). McEwan also speaks rather candidly – he’s rather shockingly forthcoming, actually – about his novel-in-progress, which was inspired by a recent hiking trip to the Arctic and has a climate scientist for a protagonist.
Throughout, he's revealed – no great surprise here – to be sharp, thoughtful, and possessing of a dry wit, especially when it comes to all the backwards-glancing of the piece. (Zalewski, on the other hand, is something of a back-hander; twice he refers to McEwan's novels as "old-fashioned" and uses the word "lurid" to describe McEwan's plots, which seems like such a sloppy word for something so precisely wrought on the page.)
The Michener Center for Writers at UT will host Ian McEwan on Thursday, March 5, in the Edgar Smith Building Auditorium at the Blanton Museum of Art. The event is free to the public but seating is limited. Doors open at 6:45pm; show starts at 7:30pm. Parking is available at the adjacent Brazos Garage. Visit for the MCW website for more info.