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On Chesil Beach: Book and DVD Specialby Ian McEwan
Synopses & Reviews
A novel of remarkable depth and poignancy from one of the most acclaimed writers of our time.
It is July 1962. Florence is a talented musician who dreams of a career on the concert stage and of the perfect life she will create with Edward, an earnest young history student at University College of London, who unexpectedly wooed and won her heart. Newly married that morning, both virgins, Edward and Florence arrive at a hotel on the Dorset coast. At dinner in their rooms they struggle to suppress their worries about the wedding night to come. Edward, eager for rapture, frets over Florence's response to his advances and nurses a private fear of failure, while Florence's anxieties run deeper: she is overcome by sheer disgust at the idea of physical contact, but dreads disappointing her husband when they finally lie down together in the honeymoon suite.
Ian McEwan has caught with understanding and compassion the innocence of Edward and Florence at a time when marriage was presumed to be the outward sign of maturity and independence. On Chesil Beach is another masterwork from McEwan — a story of lives transformed by a gesture not made or a word not spoken.
"A nifty little flick... We shan't spoil the story — buy the book! See the movie! — but we will say it's worth the hyperbole. And the hype....This is McEwan, face-to-face." John Hood, Miami SunPost
A novel of remarkable depth and poignancy, McEwan has caught with understanding and compassion the innocence of a newly married couple — both virgins — in 1962, when marriage was presumed to be the outward sign of maturity and independence.
About the Author
Ian McEwan was born on June 21, 1948 in Aldershot, England. He studied at the University of Sussex, where he received a BA degree in English Literature in 1970. While completing his MA degree in English Literature at the University of East Anglia, he took a creative writing course taught by the novelists Malcolm Bradbury and Angus Wilson.
McEwan's works have earned him worldwide critical acclaim. Among them are the Somerset Maugham Award in 1976 for his first collection of short stories First Love, Last Rites; Whitbread Novel Award (1987) and Prix Fémina Etranger (1993) for The Child in Time; and Germany's Shakespeare Prize in 1999. He has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction three times, winning the award for Amsterdam in 1998. His novel Atonement received the WH Smith Literary Award (2002), National Book Critics' Circle Fiction Award (2003), Los Angeles Times Prize for Fiction (2003), and the Santiago Prize for the European Novel (2004). In 2006, he won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel Saturday.
McEwan visited Portland, Oregon, on April 1, 2004, for the Portland Arts and Lectures series, sponsored in part by Powell's Books. Prior to the event, he sat down for an extensive interview with Powell's.
A groundbreaking series of compelling short films about authors. Out of the Book films deliver engaging portraits of writers and their work. More expansive than traditional readings, the project aims to generate spirited discussion about great new books and their impact on readers' lives.
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