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Ian McEwan
Boyd-tonkin
Boyd Tonkin

Lessons

Ian McEwan Interviewed by Boyd Tonkin

Saturday, 17 September 2022

6:00pm

1 hour

Sheldonian Theatre

£7 - £15

Booker Prize-winning novelist Ian McEwan introduces his new epic novel Lessons, the story of one man’s life across generations and across historic upheavals – from the Suez Crisis to the recent pandemic.

McEwan’s character Roland Baines sometimes rides with the tide of history, but more often struggles against it. At age 11 in the post war years he is stranded in an unusual boarding school 2,000 miles from his mother, where his vulnerability attracts a piano teacher. In later life, his wife vanishes, leaving him with his young son, and he is forced to confront the reality of his restless existence. As radiation spreads from Chernobyl, he delves into his family history for answers, a journey that will last the rest of his life.

Mc Ewan’s novel raises questions for us all. Can we take full charge of our lives without damaging others? How do global events shape our lives and memories? What can we learn from the traumas of the past?

McEwan is the bestselling author of seventeen novels including The Child in Time, winner of the Whitbread Novel of the Year, Amsterdam, winner of the Booker Prize, and four adapted for cinema, Atonement, Enduring Love, The Children Act and On Chesil Beach. He has been nominated for the Booker Prize six times.

here he talks to writer and critic Boyd Tonkin, who writes on arts and books for the Financial Times, the Economist and Spectator, and is special adviser to the Man Booker International Prize (which he chaired in 2016).

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FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival sponsors, donors & partners

FT Weekend Title partner BBC World Service International radio partner Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner University of Oxford New College Jewish Book Week Partner of Jewish programme Italian Embassy Supporter of Italian programme The Dorchester Hotels Collection Festival London hotel partner Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller The Randolph Hotel The festival hotel Princeton University Press Prestige publishing partner Marlene Hauser Mary and Cecil Quillen Supporters of the programme of American literature and culture Jill Dunsmore David Isaac Carole and John Allen Lucian Hudson Pank Koria CEO of Project People Masumi and Jonathan Dobson Miles Young Emily Rose and James Marrow Supporters of the programme of American literature and culture George Warren Lady Hatch Patron donor for the programme of Irish literature and culture John Roberts Owen Mumford Supporter of programme of science and medicine Exeter College Exeter College Trinity College Trinity College Worcester College Worcester College Lincoln College Lincoln College St Cross College St Cross College: Festival college partner. Eastgate Hotel Eastgate Hotel, a festival hotel The Feathers Hotel Woodstock festival hotel Critchleys Accountants to the festival Project People Foodbuy European Union Delegation of the European Union to the United Kingdom T S Eliot Foundation Alan Squire Publishing Sponsor of American novelists and poets Felicity Bryan Associates Conference Oxford Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office Said Business School Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner The Oxford Times Regional media partner Oxford Brookes University Oxford University Images Oxford University Images The Sheldonian Theatre Floris of London City Audio Visual Racalia Olive Oil Olive oil from Sicily Schoolreaders The Litmus Partnership K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography OX magazine Chamberlain Evans Estate agents Siren Communications Siren Communications - corporate consultants Chêne Bleu Wines of Provence Frescobaldi Toscana Wines of Tuscany Symington Wines of the Douro Valley Seacourt Printers Festival printers Compassion in World Farming The Wild Geese Nicholas Hunter Ltd James Currey Society Hattus Books Hattus Books La Cave Musik Pusey House Cervantes Institute, London Confucius Institute Literature Ireland