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Ian McEwan Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

My Purple Scented Novel (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cockroach (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Science (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

First Love, Last Rites (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
In Between the Sheets (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Imitation Game: Three Plays for Television (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Or Shall We Die? (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Move Abroad (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Short Stories (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Plays

The Ploughman's Lunch (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Soursweet (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Conversations with Ian McEwan (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Instaread Summary Books

Summary of The Pearl That Broke Its Shell (By: Nadia Hashimi,Instaread Summaries) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Summary of A Little Life (By: Hanya Yanagihara,Instaread Summaries) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Summary of The Children Act (With: Instaread Summaries) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Summary of The Light Between Oceans (By: M.L. Stedman,Instaread Summaries) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Summary of The Boston Girl (By: Anita Diamant,Instaread Summaries) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Summary of The Invention of Wings (By: Sue Monk Kidd,Instaread Summaries) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Summary, Analysis & Review of A Gentleman in Moscow (By: Amor Towles,Instaread Summaries) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Summary of Vinegar Girl (By: Anne Tyler,Instaread Summaries) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

The 22nd Pan Book of Horror Stories(1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Granta 7: Best of Young British Novelists(1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Penguin Book of Modern British Short Stories(1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers(2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Burning Ice: Art & Climate Change(2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Berlin(2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
That Glimpse of Truth(2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Thinking Ahead: Pirelli: 150 Years of Industry, Innovation and Culture(2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Ian McEwan is a British writer who was born in 1948 in Aldershot. His father served the military and as such much of McEwan’s childhood was spent in North Africa, Germany and Asia. Upon returning to England he pursued his studies and was awarded a degree in English Literature in 1970 from the prestigious University of Sussex. He continued to follow his passion and became one of the very first graduates from the University of East Anglia’s creative writing course. McEwan married two times, his first ending in 1995 which was followed by a bitter custody battle over his two sons. In 2002 reality became stranger than fiction when McEwan discovered that he had a brother who had been given-up for-adoption in World War II. His mother was married to another man at the time, but was having an affair which resulted in a child. The child was given up for adoption. When her first-husband was killed in the war, McEwan’s mother tied the knot with her lover, which means that both McEwan and the child that was given up have the same parents. The brothers have been in regular contact since their first meeting in 2002.

Ian McEwan is an accomplished author. He has won a number of awards and has had several of his novels made into movies. His prowess in the literary field is such that he was included in the 2008 list compiled by The London Times of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”.

Early Career

Ian McEwan’s first published works were collections of Gothic themed short stories. The first of which, Last Rites allowed him to take home his first award when he won the Sommerset Maugham Award in the year 1976. The Cement Garden, his very first novel was published in the year 1978 and it along with his second novel The-Comfort-of-Strangers, were made into motion pictures. It was indeed an auspicious beginning for the author. These were not the only ones to be adapted into feature films. As McEwan continued writing, the awards and accolades keep coming and the desire to see his nooks on screen continued to rise.

Brief Rest

After the release of The-Comfort-of-Strangers, McEwan took a few years before releasing his next novel, The-Child-in-Time. During this period McEwan was still productive writing a children’s book and oratorio. When returning to his novel, he proved he had not lost any of his flair as he won the Whitbread-Novel-Award for The-Child-in-Time. He has continued to produce high level novels that are acclaimed by both critics and readers alike.


Ian McEwan’s novels were acclaimed from the outset. His storytelling ability and his subject matter ensure their relevance and popularity. As an artist he does not only limit himself to this milieu however. He has written a few screenplays, that may not have the same success as his adapted novels have had, but they still show the scope of his talent. His most renown screenplay is the Good Son which was made into a hollywood feature film. The film was not well received by critics who gave very poor reviews. The film was still profitable although it would be the last original screenplay that McEwan would produce.

Recent Success

Ian McEwan kept producing thought provoking novels throughout the 90’s. This string of quality work let to the 1998 novel Amsterdam, which gave him the honored Man Booker Prize, for which he has been nominated six times. His novels continue to entertain not only on their pages but also on the big screen. The 2007 film adaptation of McEwan’s 2001 novel Atonement was met with great critical and audience praise. It quickly became a front runner for an Academy Award for best picture. Although it fell short as best picture in the end, it did manage to win for Best Original Score. McEwan has produced four more novels since Atonement and his most recent Sweet Tooth is set-to-be made into a feature film.

Sweet Tooth is a multi faced novel dealing with a Cambridge graduate, Serena Frome, who is recruited by MI5 and becomes part of a covert team to combat communism in the 1970’s. It is a spy novel, with elements of a love story all set within the turmoil of the 70’s. Although it is not regarded as McEwan’s best work, some reviewers claim to have been moved to tears by the story.


It would seem that Ian McEwan has led a charmed life as an author, and in essence that is the case. There has been a bit of controversy surrounding novel Atonement which led to him being accused of plagiarism in 2006. It was said that a passage from his book closely mirrored one from the memoirs of Lucilla Andrews entitled No Time For Love. McEwan freely admitted that the memoir was used as a source for his book. He has since added a note at the end of the book that refers to Andrews work, among others. After her death in November 2006, McEwan professed his innocence of the accusation while acknowledging the depth of gratitude he owed her for having helped inspire his work. He was defended by several notable authors.

It is interesting to note that this was not the first time McEwan was accused of similar crimes. His debut novel The-Cement-Garden was said to follow the same plot line as a novel published in 1963 by author Julian Gloag. Our Mother’s House, like McEwan’s work had also been made into a movie. Th author defended himself by stating that he had no prior knowledge of Gloag’s work and that similarities were coincidental.

Controversy aside, Ian McEwan is one of the most engaging authors of our time. HIs novels tell beautiful tales of ordinary people who must face trying times. These stories are told in a way that they all bear an ounce of truth. They are believable and the characters become real within the readers mind. There is often a sense-of-loss when finishing one of the novels has you realize that you have been touched by the characters and their tale. Only a true talent can convey these emotions and leave the reader longing for further information all the while knowing that it is impossible.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Ian McEwan

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