‘It’s about how large-scale international events penetrate the lives of ordinary individuals’ – Ian McEwan chats about his new novel Lessons
 More about the book!

Epic, mesmerising and deeply humane, Lessons, the new novel from Ian McEwan, is a chronicle for our times – a powerful meditation on history and humanity through the prism of one ordinary man.

Lessons is what people call a “whole life novel”,’ McEwan says. ‘It tracks one man, through a great part of the 20th century, and it’s really about many things at once. Various love stories, of course, like all novels, but it concentrates on the ways in which large-scale international events – Suez Crisis, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the fall of the Berlin Wall – how those events, which are sort of manipulated by distant figures who are rather like Greek gods, how they penetrate the lives of ordinary individuals.

‘And it’s also about the extraordinary level of chance and contingency in our lives, the ways in which small events can trigger huge consequences, in love, marriage, and childbirth, children, and in old age even, all along the way chance events are dictating the course of our lives, just as those distant Greek gods, Gorbachev, Khrushchev, Kennedy, are also influencing how we are and what we do.’

The world is forever changing. But for so many of us, old wounds run deep. Lessons is an intimate yet universal story of love, regret and a restless search for answers.

McEwan is the critically acclaimed author of 17 novels and two short story collections. His first published work, a collection of short stories, First Love, Last Rites, won the Somerset Maugham Award. His novels include The Child in Time, which won the 1987 Whitbread Novel of the Year Award; and Machines Like Me, which was a number-one bestseller. His novels Atonement, Enduring Love, The Children Act and On Chesil Beach have all been adapted for the big screen.

Watch Ian McEwan introducing the book here:

Categories Fiction International

Tags Ian McEwan Lessons Penguin Random House SA Videos

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