Published in 2022, Ian McEwan’s seventeenth novel,


, is his most explicitly autobiographical in a writing career that now exceeds fifty years. Hailed as England’s “national novelist” (Cowley) and “the most distinguished British writer of the last 50 years” (Mick Brown), McEwan shares with Roland Baines,

his fictional “alter ego” in


(Doane), some of the key events of his own life. Following the protagonist from his 1950s childhood in North Africa to pandemic times in 2021,


places significant personal crises within a context of international disasters. Thus, as McEwan notes, “large-scale global events” in the second half of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and 9/11,…

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Citation: Logotheti, Anastasia. "Lessons". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 January 2024 [, accessed 04 March 2024.]

40981 Lessons 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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