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Ian McEwan Refused Entry to U.S.
(April 2004)

Ian McEwan was stopped by United States Immigration officials as he attempted to visit the United States for a series of lecture engagements. As he attempted to board a plane from Vancouver to Seattle, McEwan mentioned to officials that he would be receiving payment for the lectures. Officials decided the circumstances necessitated a visa typically required for business visitors. McEwan spent the night in a Vancouver hotel the situation was sorted out. "I have been doing this type of thing for 30 years and I have never been refused entry," McEwan said. "But far worse things happen to travellers and it ended very well, so I think it will fade into a traveller's tale." (Update: U.S. officials sent Ian McEwan a letter of apology dated April 12.)

Articles Related to the Incident

Gillan, Audrey. 'Novelist McEwan Barred from US', The Guardian, 1 April 2004: 1.

Burleigh, James. 'Novelist McEwan Refused Entry to US', Independent (London), 1 April 2004: 6.

Van Bronkhorst, Erin. 'British Author Briefly Refused Entry for Lecture Tour', Associated Press State & Local Wire, 1 April 2004.

Marshall, John. 'A New Chapter in Homeland Security: British Author Detained 24 Hours at Border', The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 1 April 2004: C3.

'Amerikaanse douane weert schrijver McEwan', Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau ANP, 1 April 2004.

'Ian McEwan Reaches the Promised Land', The Guardian, 2 April 2004.

Harden, Blaine. 'British Author's Visa Ordeal Is One for the Books', Washington Post, 2 April 2004: A6. (Registration Required)

Marshall, John. 'Author's Problems at U.S. Border May Signal Things to Come', The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 2 April 2004: D4.

Marshall, John. 'U.S. Holds Up Author for a Day', The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec), 2 April 2004: A18.

Nicholas, Jonathan. 'WMDs Found in Portland', The Oregonian, 2 April 2004: C1.

'Ian McEwan Prevented from Entering U.S.', CBC News Online, 2 April 2004.

'Ian McEwan Refused Entry to U.S.', Canada Press, 2 April 2004.

'Un ecrivain britannique a du batailler pendant 36 heures avecl'immigration', Agence France Presse, 2 April 2004.

Romero, Ana. 'EEUU retiene 24 horas a Ian McEwan en el aeropuerto de Vancouver ', El Mundo, 2 April 2004: 49.

d'Arcy, Susan. 'McEwan in US Visa Fiasco', Sunday Times (London), 4 April 2004: 4 (Travel).

'Visa Issues Nearly Make McEwan Miss His Lecture', Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City), 3 April 2004.

Marshall, John. 'Novelist, Arts Groups Fear Further Trouble at U.S. Border', Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Wisconsin), 4 April 2004: 7B.

'Reisen in die USA - bald nur noch mit Fingerabdruck und Foto', Hamburger Abendblatt, 5 April 2004.

Harden, Blaine. 'Homeland Security Denied Author Entry', Washington Post, 7 April 2004: A3. (Registration Required)

'U.S. to Look into Author's Visa Case', The Gazette (Montreal, Quebec), 7 April 2004: D6.

Marshall, John. 'Writer Ian McEwan Gets a Rare, Official U.S. Apology for Border Delay', Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 20 April 2004.

'Books US Sorry for Barring McEwan', The Guardian (London), 22 April 2004: 8.

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

Last update: 14 December 2014
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