Ian McEwan born on 21st June 1948 is a very prominent British writer, novelist and screenwriter. He was born in Aldershot, Hampshire although he spent his early childhood in different countries such as Singapore, Germany and Libya. He went to ‘Woolverstone Hall School’ and for further education enrolled in University of Sussex from where he received his Bachelor in English Literature in 1970. It was then when he first realized his passion for writing. So he started working towards getting published and getting recognized publically. He also attended the University of East Anglia where he did a course in creative writing.
His first book was a collection of short stories named ‘First Love, Last Rites’ which was published in 1975. The book was highly acclaimed winning the Somerset Maugham Award in 1976. His second published work was also a short story collection called ‘In Between the Sheets’ and it was published in 1978. Two of his early novels called ‘The Cement Garden’ and ‘The Comfort of Strangers’ were published in 1978 and 1981 respectively and gave him his nickname ‘Ian Macabre’. After these novels he wrote ‘The Child in Time’ (1987) and ‘The Innocent’ (1990) and ‘Black Dogs’ (1992). ‘The Child in Time’ won the 1987 ‘Whitebread Novel Award’. His works also include two children’s books titled ‘Rose Blanche’ (1985) and ‘The Daydreamer’ (1994).
Other works by McEwan include his novels ‘Enduring Love’ (1997), ‘Amsterdam’ (1998), ‘Atonement’ (2001), ‘Saturday’ (2005), ‘On Chesil Beach’ (2007), ‘Solar’ (2010) and ‘Sweet Tooth’ (2012). Enduring love and Atonement were adapted into films in 2004 and 2007. Ian McEwan also produced several screenplays as well as a stage play and children’s fiction. His screenplays are ‘Jack Flea’s Birthday Celebrations (1976), ‘The Ploughman’s Lunch’ (1985), ‘Sour Sweet’ (1989) and ‘The Good Son’ (1993).
McEwan’s first marriage was with Penny Allen whom he called a ‘complete free spirit’. They had two sons but the marriage failed when McEwan’s success got in the way of their relationship. They got divorced and Ian McEwan married the editor of Guardian, Annalena McAfee. McEwan is an announced atheist. He had to face a controversy that started because of the comments he made against Islam. Later he claimed to be misinterpreted and justified his statements by saying that he had spoken against fundamentalists and not Islam. He said that he had grown up in a Muslim country (Libya) and respected it as he has good memories of that time. He was simply against the ‘terrorism’ and he certainly does not endorse the U.S policies against the Muslim countries.
Ian McEwan has been honored by many awards including the ‘James Tait Black Memorial Prize’ for his novel ‘Saturday’ and the ‘Man Booker Prize’ for ‘Amsterdam’. He received the ‘Shakespeare Prize’ by the Alfred Toepfer Foundation in 1999 and a ‘CBE’ in 2000. McEwan is the first person to be awarded with the prestigious ‘Harold and Ethel L. Stellfox Visiting Scholar and Writers Program Award’ by Dickinson College. Other awards include the ‘Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award’ (2010) and the ‘Jerusalem Prize’ (2011). He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was awarded the honorary Doctorate of Literature by University College, London. Ian McEwan is also ranked amongst ‘The 50 greatest British writers since 1945’.