Inspiring Purpose

Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan was born on 21 June in 1948 in Aldershot, Hampshire, England. He spent much of his childhood in the Far East, Germany and North Africa where his father, an officer in the army, was posted. He returned to England and read English at Sussex University. After graduating, he became the first student on the MA Creative Writing course established at the University of East Anglia by Malcolm Bradbury and Angus Wilson. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Society of Arts, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was awarded the Shakespeare Prize by the Alfred Toepfer Foundation, Hamburg, in 1999. He was awarded a CBE in 2000.

In 1976 his first collection of short stories, First Love, Last Rites (1975), won the Somerset Maugham Award. A second volume of stories, In Between the Sheets, appeared in 1978. These stories - claustrophobic tales of childhood, deviant sexuality and disjointed family life - were remarkable for their formal experimentation and controlled narrative voice. His first novel, The Cement Garden (1978), is the story of four orphaned children living alone after the death of both parents.
Ian McEwan lives in London. His most recent book is Saturday (2005), set on one day in February 2003. It won the 2006 James Tait Black Memorial Prize (for fiction).

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