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04.05.11

Ian McEwan on Writing and Social Networking

Ian McEwan, the bestselling author of Solar, sat down to answer readers' questions about whether Shakespeare would use Twitter, his next novel, and the pitfalls of text messaging.

To Tweet or Not to Tweet

Ian McEwan poses an interesting question: If Shakespeare were alive today, would he be a "man of the Twitter"? Here, the author of Solar, a witty take on climate change, discusses how Facebook, email, and Twitter fit into his daily life—and how he was a victim of text message auto-correct.

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Dreaming of Novellas

Does McEwan daydream about writing short stories? While his habits of mind are strictly those of a novelist, McEwan still loves the crisp, clear, and almost film-like experience of the novella.

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What Is He Researching and Writing Now?

Well, it's none of your business what his next novel is about. That isn't to say we don't get any hints. At the moment, McEwan likes reading the social histories of the early 1970s. A time, he confesses, when he embraced a "bring it on" attitude.

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When the Novel (and Research) Dies

After shadowing a neurosurgeon for two years while writing Saturday, a story about a middle-aged doctor, does McEwan have what it takes to be the keynote speaker at a medical symposium? Not necessarily. And he feels guilty about that.

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Readers Ask: What Really Happened?

Listen up, Atonement fans: Why did Briony reunite Cecilia and Robbie? McEwan discusses starting a conversation with readers about what we've all come to expect from novels. But is telling the truth to your audience ever too mean?

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