Ian McEwan (muhk-YEW-uhn) was born on June 21, 1948, in Aldershot, England, where his mother, Rose Moore, a widow with two children, married his father, David McEwan, a Scotsman who had joined the British army in the 1930’s and rose to the rank of sergeant major, a social move upward as well as a military promotion. McEwan attended a government-supported boys’ boarding school and completed a degree in English and French at the University of Sussex before beginning an M.A. degree in English at the University of East Anglia. He was the student of the English novelist Malcolm Bradbury, whose specialty was American writers. McEwan has said that Bradbury’s encouragement to read the works of novelists such as Norman Mailer, Philip Roth, and Vladimir Nabokov had a large impact on his own early writing, including some of the stories that appeared in his two collections, First Love, Last Rites (1975) and In Between the Sheets (1978). In 1978, McEwan published his first novel, The Cement Garden.
In the 1980’s, McEwan also became interested in writing plays for the stage, television, and screen. His dramatic works include The Imitation Game: Three Plays for Television (1981); Or Shall We Die? (pr., pb. 1983), an oratorio with music by Michael Berkeley (1983); a screenplay, The Ploughman’s Lunch (1983); and another screenplay, The Innocent (1995), a film adaptation of his 1990 novel. His novel...
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