Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan's new novel is Solar.

From his interview about the book with Alexandra Alter of the Wall Street Journal:

Michael Beard, your protagonist, ends up at the center of a media storm for his comments about the differences between male and female brains. You've been slammed in the press for your comments about Islam and other subjects. Why did you decide to put your character through something similar?

We have a very rackety, partisan, sometimes very intrusive press. One of the things they love to be is indignant. People might have in the past loved sex; I think they now love indignation more. Indignation seems to thrill. So a media storm is often driven beyond all reason, people taking offense or people huffing and puffing. So that all found its way in, plus my own experience, plus friends like Martin Amis and Salman Rushdie, Christopher Hitchens. I didn't have to do any research for that.

Did writing about it help you see it in a more comic light?

There is something hilarious about a press storm, and when you're in it you don't think it's funny. It's about you, but when it's gone, it's a bit like a gale blowing through your house and your hair is blowing in one way and your shirt's coming off your back and all the papers ripping across the room, and then it suddenly stops. It's like a typhoon that moves to the next town, and you almost miss it.

Are you surprised by the amount of attention your remarks get?

I'm...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue