Thu, 01 Feb 2024 19:00 - 20:00

Under the Covers: Ian McEwan (In person)

Ella Berthoud brings her illuminating Under the Covers series of talks back to The London Library, with one of our greatest novelists, Ian McEwan.

Ian McEwan’s latest novel Lessons, is a chronicle for our times and a powerful meditation on history and humanity through the prism of one man’s lifetime. It follows Roland Baines on an epic personal journey from childhood into adulthood via some of the biggest events of the twentieth century from the Suez Crisis to the Cuban Missile Crisis, the fall of the Berlin Wall to the recent pandemic and climate change. Sometimes he rides the tide of history, but more often struggles against it. Haunted by lost opportunities, he seeks solace through every possible means – music, literature, friends, sex, politics and, finally, love. It is a story about the ways culture, relationships, trauma, memories and global events shape who we are. 

Turning the tables, Ella Berthoud, bibliotherapist and co-author of The Novel Cure: An A-Z of Literary Remedies, puts McEwan on the metaphorical couch to discuss the novel and the books that have shaped and inspired him throughout his life, before delivering his bibliotherapeutic analysis and prescription.

Ian McEwan CBE is the critically acclaimed author of seventeen novels and two short story collections. His novels include The Child in Time, which won the 1987 Whitbread Novel of the Year Award; The Cement GardenEnduring LoveAmsterdam, which won the 1998 Booker Prize; AtonementSaturdayOn Chesil BeachSolarSweet ToothThe Children ActNutshell; and Machines Like Me, which was a number-one bestseller. AtonementEnduring LoveThe Children Act and On Chesil Beach have all been adapted for the big screen.

Ella Berthoud is a bibliotherapist, artist and co-author of The Novel Cure: An A-Z of Literary Remedies. She has been prescribing literary cures to readers everywhere for many years.

Ian McEwan’s Lessons and Ella Berthoud's The Novel Cure will be available to buy at the event and online from our partner bookshop Hatchards.

Supported by Fondation Jan Michalski.

NB Doors (and the bar) will open at 6.30pm for a 7pm start. 

London Library events are subject to Terms & Conditions