Acclaimed novelist Ian McEwan occupies a unique spot in the book world - he sells millions of books, is well regarded by literary critics and is loved by collectors of modern first editions. Born in 1948 in Aldershot, Hampshire, McEwan - who studied creative writing at the University of East Anglia under Malcolm Bradbury - has been a true superstar of literature since the 1990s.
His 1975 debut work was a collection of short stories entitled First Love, Last Rites. First editions (especially UK editions) of this book are highly sought - after as his early books had small print runs. His early work was dark and decidedly edgy, and critics labeled him ‘Ian Macabre’.
For instance, The Cement Garden (1978) is a novel with a strong incest theme where four children bury their mother′s body in cement in the basement. The author is extremely skilled at penning remarkable opening chapters - Enduring Love (his 1997 novel about a stalker) and A Child in Time (his 1987 novel about the loss a child) both boast stunning beginnings.
McEwan has been nominated for the Man Booker Prize three times - for Amsterdam, Atonement and On Chesil Beach with Amsterdam winning in 1998. Oddly, collectable copies of Atonement and On Chesil Beach are more expensive on the rare book market than Amsterdam. Signed McEwan books are easy to find and first editions complete with his signature can be found for less than £50.