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Posts Tagged ‘Ian McEwan’

Ian McEwan’s Writing Advice: Try Short Stories

thebelieverAuthor Zadie Smith interviewed author Ian McEwan in the current issue of The Believer. In the interview, the two authors talk about everything from time to falling out of bedroom windows.

McEwan also shared some advice for young authors. He advised writers to get practice through writing short stories, which he compared to “trying on your parents’ clothes.”

Here is more from The Believer:

When people ask, “Is there any advice you’d give a young writer?,” I say write short stories. They afford lots of failure. Pastiche is a great way to start. But I was never really a great one for that kind of extreme Angela Carter magic realist stuff… although actually I got to know her and admire her and was kind of a neighbor in Clapham.

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Ian McEwan Wins $10,000 Jerusalem Prize

UK author Ian McEwan (pictured, via) has won the $10,000 Jerusalem Prize. It will be awarded at the 25th International Jerusalem Book Fair. The biennial prize recognizes work that articulates ideas about “freedom of the individual in society.”

Here’s more from the release: “McEwan’s protagonists struggle for their right to give personal expression to their ideas, and to live according to those ideas in an environment of political and social turmoil. His obvious affection for them, and the compelling manner in which he describes their struggle, make him one of the most important writers of our time. His books have been translated into many languages and have enjoyed world-wide success – particularly in Israel, where he is one of the most widely-read of foreign authors.”

Several past winners (including Peruvian writer, Mario Vargas Llosa) have also received the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Read more

Thomas Pynchon Defends Ian McEwan Against Plagiarism

pynchonletter.jpgIn 2006, the reclusive novelist Thomas Pynchon rose to the defense of Ian McEwan during a controversy over alleged plagiarism in McEwan’s novel, Atonement.

Pynchon mailed a typewritten letter to the novelist’s British publisher, declaring: “Writers are naturally drawn, chimpanzee-like, to the color and the music of this English idiom.” The excellent Letters of Note site has a copy of the letter, where Pynchon dismissed the scandal and urged readers to be grateful for the book.

Check it out: “Memoirs of the Blitz have borne indispensable witness, and helped later generations know something of the tragedy and heroism of those days. For Mr. McEwan to have put details from one of them to further creative use, acknowledging this openly and often, and then explaining it clearly and honorably, surely merits not our scolding, but our gratitude.” (Via The Millions)

Sam Mendes and Oprah Winfrey Land “Netherland” Scriptwriter

netherland23.jpgAfter a long search, director Sam Mendes and Oprah Winfrey‘s production company have found a screenwriter to adapt Joseph O’Neill‘s “Netherland” for the screen.

They’ve tapped Christopher Hampton, the writer who managed to adapt Ian McEwan‘s “Atonement.” Winfrey’s company, Harpo Films, had bought the rights to the critically-acclaimed book, and it took a number of conversations to bring Hampton into the project.

Here’s a quote from Hampton about the adaptation: “I don’t know why Sam wanted me to do it, but I do know he feels that he has to make it. He told me there really isn’t anybody else who could make this film, since he is both a film director and an expat cricket-lover living in New York.”

Your Booker Prize Shortlist

Darkmans, by Nicola Barker
Gathering, by Anne Enright
The Reluctant Fundamentalist, by Mohsin Hamid
Mister Pip, by Lloyd Jones
On Chesil Beach, by Ian McEwan
Animal’s People, by Indra Sinha

Not surprisingly, all the news reports (like the Guardian) focus on McEwan’s “surviving the cull.” More still from the BBC.

Halberstam Selected As Next Out of the Book Author

Powell’s has made their choice for the next “Out of the Book” film after debuting the concept with Ian McEwan‘s ON CHESIL BEACH. This time, they will debut a film based on David Halberstam‘s THE COLDEST WINTER: AMERICA AND THE KOREAN WAR, published by Hyperion on September 25. The 28-minute film will be produced by series creator Dave Weich of Powell’s Books. The director is once again Doug Biro of Hudson River Films.

Shelf Awareness further reports that the movie will premier on November 11, when McNally-Robinson shows it at Two Boots Pioneer Theater. Between November 12 and December 15, the film will be shown across the country at events hosted by 75 independent booksellers that, as with the Ian McEwan film (shown by 54 booksellers), will include panel discussions, live music, special guests – the latter part especially important in light of Halberstam’s recent passing. The film will rely on some of Halberstam’s friends and feature commentary from Joan Didion, Seymour Hersh, Robert Caro and Bob Woodward.

Booker Prize Bulletpoints

Now that the longlist has been announced, reaction streams in from all over the world:

  • It’s a “giant felling” list, according to John Ezard and Martin Hodgson. [Guardian]
  • But Erica Wagner thinks the list is relatively surprise-free. [The Times]
  • Bookmakers William Hill makes Ian McEwan the favorite, but installing Lloyd Jones‘ MISTER PIP at 20/1? Tsk tsk. [Booktrade.info]
  • DJ Taylor backs MISTER PIP. [Guardian]
  • Nikita Lalwani and Indra Sinha are celebrated in India for being longlisted. [The Hindu Times]
  • Reaction in New Zealand to MISTER PIP being on the longlist. [NZ Herald, Stuff.co.nz]
  • Similar reaction in Canada for Michael Redhill‘s appearance. [CBC, G&M]
  • And in Ireland, they’re happy for Anne Enright.[RTE]
  • Atlantic and Plum Form Summer Reading Partnership

    The monthly magazine Atlantic has announced a partnership with Plum, the media network of America’s most influential destination communities, that celebrates books, ideas, and the spirit of community. The first installment, called BOOKMARK 2007, launched on Nantucket on July 14 and run through the end of August. 10 books, ranging from novels by Ian McEwan and Claire Messud to non-fiction books by David Halberstam and Christopher Hitchens, comprise the recommended reading list, and form the backbone of Bookmark2007 which also features video content, literary events and an interactive website.

    “We’re thrilled to be joining up with Plum, which shares our delight in great books and our goal of inspiring conversation around ideas that matter,” said Atlantic editor James Bennet. Tom Scott, CEO and co-founder of Plum, added: “When we set out to celebrate people and place, and spirit and intellect in some of the most beautiful places in America, we could not have asked for a better partner.”

    Knighthood for Rushdie

    The Associated Press reports that Salman Rushdie, who was forced into hiding for a decade after the leader of Iran’s revolution ordered his assassination, has been made a knight. The author of THE SATANIC VERSES was on the list of honors marking Queen Elizabeth II‘s official birthday. “I am thrilled and humbled to receive this great honor, and am very grateful that my work has been recognized in this way,” he said in a statement about his new OBE, given for “services to literature.”

    The Guardian collects reactions from various literary luminaries. “I am delighted for him,” said fellow novelist Ian McEwan said. “He’s a wonderful writer, and this sends a firm message to the book-burners and their appeasers.” John Sutherland, academic and former Booker prize judge, suggested the award might represent a tacit olive branch from those who perhaps had failed to support Sir Salman as he might have hoped. “It’s astonishing that Tony Blair, among others, has been so reluctant to be seen shaking Rushdie’s hand, and here he is getting a knighthood from the Queen,” said the emeritus professor of literature.

    Achebe Wins Booker International Prize

    The BBC reports that Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, best known for his 1958 novel THINGS FALL APART, has won the Man Booker International Prize in honor of his literary career. The 76-year-old author beat out an impressive roster of writers including Ian McEwan, Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie for the 60,000 pound biannual prize, which will be presented to Achebe at a ceremony in Oxford on June 28.

    Academic and author Elaine Showalter, who was one of the judges, said: “In THINGS FALL APART and his other fiction set in Nigeria, Chinua Achebe inaugurated the modern African novel. He also illuminated the path for writers around the world seeking new words and forms for new realities and societies. We honour his literary example and achievements.” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who recently won the Orange Prize for Fiction, said of Achebe: “He is a remarkable man. The writer and the man. He’s what I think writers should be.”

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