Lessons; Ian McEwan Interviewed by Boyd Tonkin with the Oxford Literary Festival

Photo of Ian McEwan

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 five adapted for cinema, Atonement, Enduring Love, The Children Act, On Chesil Beach and The Comfort of Strangers. 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). He was literary editor of The Independent between 1996 and 2013.

Ticket Information

Floor Chairs and Front Row Semi-Circle: £15.00 (Full Price) / £8.00 (Student)

Semi-Circle and Galleries: £12.50 (Full Price) / £7.00 (Student)

Doors open at 17:30 for a 18:00 start

Running time of 1 Hour plus book collection to follow (The books will be pre-signed)