Thursday, August 24, 2006

Ian McEwan's favorite novels about work

"The world of work--so defining in most lives--is rather underrepresented in literary fiction. However, there are some honorable, and even brilliant, excursions."

Or so claimed Atonement's author Ian McEwan back in 1999; click here to read about the five favorite novels about work--by Updike, Atwood, Michael Frayn, Frank Conroy, and Fred Hoyle--he shared with Salon.

A few years later, in an interview about his novel Saturday, Salon asked McEwan about the genesis of the novel. Part of his answer:
I'd also formed an ambition to write about work. I thought whoever my next central character will be, he's going to damn well have a job. Too many characters in literary fiction mope around and don't have any job. For very good reasons. Or, they're college professors, especially in America. This part of London I arrived in is very much a medical area. There are big hospitals here. So already I was beginning to think he'd be a neurosurgeon.
Click here to read the entire interview.

For previous appearances here on the blog by McEwan, click here, here, here, and here.

So much for work; are you more interested in slackers? Click here to read about Tom Lutz's Doing Nothing: A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers, and Bums in America.

--Marshal Zeringue