This is a new edition of the first study in English of one of the most original and exciting writers to have emerged in Britain in recent years. The first edition was ahead of its time, being the first critical study of McEwan, and this new edition adds substantially to critical appreciation of his body of work, which has grown considerably with the publication of A Child in Time, Booker Prize-winning Amsterdam and his latest book Atonement. It provides an introduction to the whole range of Ian McEwan's work, examining his novels, short stories and screenplays in depth and tracing his development. Drawing throughout on McEwan's obsessions with childhood and the body, with regression and abjection, with innocence, violence and complicity, its shows how these are deployed to raise disturbing political questions about gender, power, pleasure and narrative itself. The fiction and films of Ian McEwan are revealed as adventures in the art of unease, the art of impaling us on the awkward truths and intractable anxieties of our time.
Kiernan Ryan is Professor of English Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London. He was Director of Studies in English at New Hall, University of Cambridge.