Pitt Hosts Celebrated Novelist, Screenwriter Ian McEwan for March 26 Reading

Issue Date: 
March 25, 2013

Celebrated author and screenwriter Ian McEwanIan McEwan—who is included in The Times of London’s “The 50 Greatest British Writers Since 1945” list and whose acclaimed novel Atonement, a 20th-century English family saga spanning six decades, was made into an Oscar-winning 2007 film—will deliver a reading drawn from his award-winning works of literature at 8:30 p.m. March 26 in the William Pitt Union Ballroom. This free public event is part of the University’s 2012-13 Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series.

In a literary career spanning nearly 40 years, McEwan is probably best known for Atonement (Jonathan Cape, 2001), which won the 2002 National Book Critics’ Circle Award for Fiction, the 2002 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, and the 2002 WH Smith Literary Award. Time magazine named the book its best fiction novel of the year, and it was included in that magazine’s All-TIME 100 Novels list of “the 100 best English-language novels published since 1923—the beginning of Time.” In 2007, Atonement was adapted into an award-winning feature-length film of the same name, starring James McAvoy and Keira Knightley. It won an Oscar for Best Original Score at the 80th Academy Awards and was nominated in six other categories, including Best Picture. It also garnered 14 nominations at the 61st British Academy Film Awards, winning in both the Best Film and Best Production Design categories.

McEwan’s 12th and latest novel, Sweet Tooth (Jonathan Cape, 2012), has won praise in such notable publications as The Guardian, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, with The Slate Book Review describing it as “a book you can think about for a long time, a book that lingers and disturbs, in a good way.”

In addition to creating works of literature, McEwan has written original screenplays for such films as The Ploughman’s Lunch (1983), starring Jonathan Pryce, Tim Curry, and Rosemary Harris, and The Good Son (1993), starring Macaulay Culkin and Elijah Wood.

Among McEwan’s other awards are the 2011 Jerusalem Prize for the Freedom of the Individual in Society, the 2010 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award, the 2008 Reader’s Digest Author of the Year Award, the 2008 Galaxy Book of the Year Award for the novel On Chesil Beach (Jonathan Cape, 2007), and the 2006 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for the novel Saturday (Jonathan Cape, 2005). He has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize numerous times and won it for his novel Amsterdam (Jonathan Cape, 1998).

A native of Aldershot, England, McEwan earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature at the University of Sussex in 1970 as well as a Master of Arts degree in English literature at the University of East Anglia. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of Literature, and the Royal Society of Arts. McEwan currently lives in London.

The University of Pittsburgh Writing Program and The Book Center are cosponsors of the 2012-13 Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series season. Call 412-624-6508 or visit http://pghwriterseries.wordpress.com for more information.