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Author and Sussex alumnus Ian McEwan returns to campus to discuss the truth in fiction

Celebrated author and Sussex alumnus Ian McEwan returns to campus this month to discuss his work, his interest in science and “the novelist’s responsibility to truth”.

McEwan, whose recent books include the Sussex inspired spy romance Sweet Tooth, will be in conversation with Professor Peter Boxall on Friday, 16 May, 2-4pm in Asa Briggs Arts A2 Lecture Theatre. The free event is open to all. Alumni can book a ticket here.

Professor Boxall says: “It will be an interesting discussion, turning around McEwan’s recurrent interest in disciplines and professions, such as the sciences, historiography, musicology, journalism and the law -  and their relationship to literature.

“We’ll also be talking about how his work represents the relationship between the arts and medicine, between the novelist and the historian, between fiction and espionage. Does the novelist have a responsibility to truth and to knowledge that is different from that which applies to the scientist, to the surgeon, to the spy, the journalist, the legislator, the musician or the historian? And if so, how are we to understand this responsibility?”

McEwan, who studied English Literature at Sussex in the 1960s, is the author of several best-selling and much-lauded novels, including the Man Booker Prize-winning AmsterdamAtonement, which was made into a film with Kiera Knightley and James McAvoy; and Enduring Love, which was also turned into a film starring Daniel Craig.

In 2012 the University awarded McEwan a gold medal for his global contribution to literature.  He is also appearing at this year’s Charleston Festival, alongside former Sussex Vice-Chancellor Lord (Asa) Briggs, and current Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Farthing, to discuss Lord Briggs' latest instalment of his memoir, Loose Ends and Extras.

By: Jacqui Bealing
Last updated: Thursday, 8 May 2014