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Ian McEwan was born on 21 June 1948 in Aldershot, England. He studied at the University of Sussex, where he received a BA degree in English Literature in 1970. He received his MA degree in English Literature at the University of East Anglia.
McEwan's works have earned him worldwide critical acclaim. He won the Somerset Maugham Award in 1976 for his first collection of short stories First Love, Last Rites; the Whitbread Novel Award (1987) and the Prix Fémina Etranger (1993) for The Child in Time; and Germany's Shakespeare Prize in 1999.
He has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction numerous times, winning the award for Amsterdam in 1998. His novel Atonement received the WH Smith Literary Award (2002), National Book Critics' Circle Fiction Award (2003), Los Angeles Times Prize for Fiction (2003), and the Santiago Prize for the European Novel (2004). He was awarded a CBE in 2000. In 2006, he won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel Saturday, and his novel
McEwan's most recent novel is The Children Act.
The death cult chose its city well -- Paris, secular capital of the world, as hospitable, diverse and charming a metropolis as was ever devised. And the death cult chose its targets in the city with ghoulish, self-damning accuracy -- everything they loathed stood plainly before them on a happy Friday evening: men and women in easy association, wine, free-thinking, laughter, tolerance, music -- wild and satirical rock and blues. The cultists came armed with savage nihilism and a hatred that lies beyond our understanding. Their protective armour was the suicide belt, their idea of the ultimate hiding place was the virtuous after-life, where the police cannot go. (The jihadist paradise is turning out to be one of humanity's worst ever ideas; slash and burn in this life, eternal rest among kitsch in the next).
Paris, dazed and subdued, woke this morning to reflect on its new circumstances. Those of us who were out on the town last night can only wonder at the vagaries of chance that lets us live and others die. As the slaughter began, my wife and I were in a venerable Paris institution, a cliché of the modest good life since 1845. In this charming restaurant in the sixieme, one shares crowded tables with good-willed strangers, visitors and locals in a friendly crush. With our Pouilly Fume and filets d'hareng, we were as good a target as any. The cult chose the onzieme, the dixieme, barely a mile away and we didn't know a thing.
Now we do. What are those changed circumstances? Security will tighten and Paris must become a little less charming. The necessary tension between security and freedom will remain a challenge. The death-cult's bullets and bombs will come again, here or somewhere else, we can be sure. The citizens of London, New York, Berlin are paying close and nervous attention. In January we were all Charlie Hebdo. Now, we are all Parisians and that at least, in a dark time, is a matter of pride.
|Novels: The Cement Garden The Comfort of Strangers The Child in Time The Innocent Black Dogs|
|Enduring Love Amsterdam Atonement Saturday On Chesil Beach Solar Sweet Tooth|
|The Children Act|
|Stories: First Love, Last Rites In Between the Sheets|
|Children's Fiction: Rose Blanche The Daydreamer|
|Screenplays: The Imitation Game & Other Plays The Ploughman's Lunch Soursweet|
|Oratorio / Libretto: Or Shall We Die? For You|