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Win a signed copy of Lessons by Ian McEwan and a ticket to his event at the Southbank Centre!

To celebrate the publication of Lessons, Ian McEwan’s first novel since his Sunday Times number one bestseller Machines Like Me, we want to know why readers including librarians, library users, reading groups, students and the general public, love his writing. The person with the best response will win a signed copy of Lessons and a ticket to Ian’s event at the Southbank Centre!

Ian McEwan is the critically acclaimed author of seventeen 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; The Cement Garden; Enduring Love; Amsterdam, which won the 1998 Booker Prize; Atonement; Saturday; On Chesil Beach; Solar; Sweet Tooth; The Children Act; Nutshell; and Machines Like Me. Atonement, Enduring Love, The Children Act and On Chesil Beach have all been adapted for the big screen.

Ian will be appearing at the Southbank Centre in London on 14 September (more information here). The prize will be for one ticket only.

Your comments may be used in an article celebrating the author’s cherished place in the hearts and on the shelves of libraries and readers across the UK. The article will be shared on The Reading Agency’s websites and on social media. By completing this survey you are giving permission for The Reading Agency to share your comments online.

Please complete the survey by Monday 5 Sept. If you have any questions, please email jack.phillips@readingagency.org.uk.

About This Book

When the world is still counting the cost of the Second World War and the Iron Curtain has descended, young Roland Baines’s life is turned upside down. 2,000 miles from his mother’s protective love, stranded at an unusual boarding school, his vulnerability attracts his piano teacher Miriam Cornell, leaving scars as well as a memory of love that will never fade.

Twenty-five years later Roland’s wife mysteriously vanishes, leaving him alone with their baby son. He is forced to confront the reality of his rootless existence. As the radiation from the Chernobyl disaster spreads across Europe he begins a search for answers that looks deep into his family history and will last for the rest of his life.

From the Suez and Cuban Missile crises, the fall of the Berlin Wall to the Covid pandemic and climate change, Roland sometimes rides with the tide of history but more often struggles against it. Haunted by lost opportunities, he seeks solace through every possible means – literature, travel, friendship, drugs, sex and politics. A profound love is cut tragically short. Then, in his final years, he
finds love again in another form. His journey raises important questions. Can we take full charge of the course of our lives without damage to others? How do global events beyond our control shape our lives and our memories? And what can we learn from the traumas of the past?

Epic, mesmerising and deeply humane, Lessons is a chronicle for our times – a powerful meditation on history and contingency through the prism of one man’s lifetime.

The Competition

Click here to fill out the survey and be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of Ian McEwan’s latest book and a ticket to his event at the Southbank Centre!

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