Ian McEwan helped his son write an essay about his own novel. His son got a C+


If you’re a student who’s been assigned to write an essay about an Ian McEwan novel, there’s one person you shouldn’t ask for help: Ian McEwan.

The Man Booker Prize-winning British author, known for his novels “Amsterdam” and “Atonement,” told the Daily Mail that he offered to help one student —his son, Greg — analyze his novel “Enduring Love” for Greg’s A-level essay. (A levels are tests taken by high school-age students in the United Kingdom.)

“Compelled to read his dad’s book — imagine. Poor guy,” McEwan said. “I confess I did give him a tutorial and told him what he should consider.”


Those concerned that young Greg had an unfair advantage on his test needn’t worry.

“I didn’t read his essay but it turned out his teacher disagreed fundamentally with what he said,” McEwan said. “I think he ended up with a C+.”

The experience left McEwan “a little dubious” about his books being assigned in schools, he said. But it hasn’t dampened his enthusiasm for education in general.

“What I want to do is take a history degree,” he said. “I feel that as I’m about to turn 70, I ought to know about more stuff. I feel mental death comes when your curiosity evaporates.”

McEwan spoke to the newspaper to promote the film adaptation of his short novel “On Chesil Beach,” which is scheduled for release on May 18. The movie stars Saoirse Ronan, Billy Howle and Emma Watson.

Ronan is no stranger to McEwan’s novels. She received an Academy Award nomination for her role in the 2007 adaptation of the author’s “Atonement.”