Secular Sabbath

Unbelief in Ian McEwan's Fiction

Over the past two decades, few writers have charmed as many critics and readers as the British novelist Ian McEwan. He is probably best known for his 2001 novel Atonement, which sold over 4 million copies and was turned into a popular movie, but McEwan has been selling books and winning awards since the mid-1970s. Before Atonement, there was The Comfort of Strangers, Black Dogs, Enduring Love, and Amsterdam; and since Atonement, he has published two more successful books: Saturday and the novella On Chesil Beach.

McEwan has won both the National Book Award and the coveted Booker Prize. He's been informally dubbed Britain's National Author and, by royal decree, Commander of the British Empire.

Several things account for the McEwan phenomenon. The fine, elegant thread of his language is easy...

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About the Author

David Impastato is a freelance writer, editor of Upholding Mystery: An Anthology of Contemporary Christian Poetry (Oxford University Press), and co-founder of Poetry Retreats: Reading Poetry for Spiritual Growth.