Ransom Center Adds Ian McEwan Archive

Ransom Center Adds Ian McEwan Archive

At age 11, Ian McEwan earned a B in his English class. “Has done well—sometimes careless,” noted his teacher in the margin of his report card.

She didn’t know that her pupil would go on to become one of the world’s most celebrated novelists, the author of bestsellers like Atonement (which was made into an Oscar-winning film), Amsterdam, and Saturday, and that the report card would eventually find its way to UT’s Harry Ransom Center as part of the Ian McEwan archive, whose creation the university announced today.

Alongside the report card, the archive includes drafts of McEwan’s novels, scrapbooks kept by his mother, letters to and from school friends and other authors, audio and video recordings, and more.

“The various drafts associated with each work will show any interested reader how ideas evolved towards their final form,” McEwan said in a Q&A with the Ransom Center. “Sometimes the path towards a finished novel takes surprising twists … my novel Atonement started out as a science fiction story set two or three centuries into future.”

The archive joins that of dozens of other authors, including J. M. Coetzee, Doris Lessing, Jayne Anne Phillips, and Tom Stoppard.

McEwan will speak at UT on Sept. 10—check the Ransom Center’s website for more details to be posted later this summer.

Ian McEwan as a young boy in 1956 in Libya, North Africa. Image courtesy of Harry Ransom Center.



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