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Sunday, March 20, 2005


Ian McEwan

Morning, March 19, wake to familar Brit voice on radio 94.0FM

  • Author Ian McEwan giving superbly polished interview on the London line to NPR about his latest novel Saturday
  • I lived near McEwan in south London and we met in interesting circumstances
    • McEwan's Cement Garden had been published to the usual acclaim
    • Out of the blue, some aged critic - Bron Waugh? - recalled that the plot of CM bore a resemblance to one Julian Gloag's Our Mother's House, also made into a movie, and published by Secker & Warburg for whom I was then handling the press and PR
    • Frantic call from researcher of the TV prog who was due to interview Ian on the very controversy: he hadn't actjally read the book he was suspected of plagiarising. How to get him sight of the out-of-print book?
    • My office housed the office files of first editions - Orwell, Colette, Böll, Grass, Plath, Jong, the list goes on - of which none left the building, of course.
    • I agreed to bike our precious file copy over to chez McEwan that night
    • That's how we met and how it went from there, with me collecting it back from McEwan in the same arrangement.
    • It was the least I could do, having earlier been one of the Secker crew to thumb down on his short stories that actually made his name. The thinking was that no one launched on shorts.
    • (I am told I was also one of the gang that poo-pooh'd on a **synopsis** of a certain Freddie Forsyth's de Gaulle stalking day of the jackal)

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