Quoteikon Logo 200px

Ian McEwan Quotes


Ian MceWan
  • Mini Bio
  • Name: Ian Russell McEwan
  • Born: 21st June 1948, Aldershot, England
  • Occupation: Novelist and screenwriter
  • Awards: He was nominated six times for the Man Booker prize and won it outright in 1998 with his novel 'Amsterdam'
  • Shock event: The BBC halted production on his 1979 play Solid Geometry because of alleged obscenities that may outrage the public
  • Nickname: His writing in the 1970's and 1980's earned him the moniker Ian Macabre because of the blood, guts and general depravity
  • Trivia: His 1975 set of short stories 'First Love Last Rites' won him the Somerset Maugham Award for best writer
  • Scroll down for full bio and many great quotes

"Not being boring is quite a challenge"

Ian Mcewan

"We know so little about each other. We lie mostly submerged, like ice floes, with our visible social selves projecting only cool and white"

Ian Mcewan

"There is that rule about imagined futures: things are never quite as bad as pessimists say and never quite as good as optimists hope"

Ian Mcewan

"The monster is a metaphor for science out of control, but it is ourselves out of control that I am interested in"

Ian Mcewan

"On the road I often dreamed of being back under undistracting grey skies, writing fiction"

Ian Mcewan

"The great thing about having an altered reality is that you can’t get anything wrong"

Ian Mcewan

"I’m a great believer in turning up still, no forgiving yourself because you are tired"

Ian Mcewan

"The law is all about drawing clear lines. Life is not like that"

Ian Mcewan

"True intelligence requires fabulous imagination"

Ian Mcewan

"Nations are never virtuous, though they might sometimes think they are"

Ian Mcewan

"The moment you lose curiosity in the world, you might as well be dead"

Ian Mcewan

"When there are no consequences, being wrong is simply a diversion"

Ian Mcewan

"Self-consciousness is the destroyer of erotic joy"

Ian Mcewan

"He who hesitates is not only lost, but miles from the next exit"

Ian Mcewan

"There are ways in which art can have a longer reach than politics"

Ian Mcewan

Great quotes are not where you find great wisdom. It's where you share this knowledge that counts

Sharing Is Caring

Ian McEwan Biography

Although Ian McEwan was born in the garrison town of Aldershot he spent most of his formative years in Libya, Singapore and Germany as he followed his soldier father through his many postings.

After graduating with honours from the University of Sussex in 1971 he set about writing short stories and after honing his trade he was well on his way to becoming an award winning author starting off in 1975 with 'First Love Last Rites' which eventually went on to become a movie in 1997.



His writing die was cast and he went on to pen fourteen novels and five screenplays. Eleven of these were adapted into movies including Atonement which was a worldwide box office success grossing $130 million dollars.

His writing in the 1970's earned him the moniker Ian Macabre due to its blood lust and sexually depraved content, however his style mellowed as he settled into married life and the tone of his work became less controversial.

The New Yorker called his work "the art of unease" and he has packed a lot of writing into his books making it interesting research compiling my list of 15 of the best Ian McEwan quotes.

Quotes About Ian McEwan

The literary critic James Wood described him thus: "McEwan is one of the most gifted literary story tellers alive"

The critic Tim Adams made this observation: "McEwan's brilliance as a novelist lies in his ability to isolate discrete moments in life and invest them with incredible significance"

Keith Ridgway of the Irish Times described his style: "McEwan is the kind of author who can say more in a sentence than most can say in a chapter"

In a book review John Harding wrote: "McEwan’s style is lean and clear…every sentence feels carefully crafted, the words all perfectly in place"

A New York Times review captured his literary essence: "He is the master clockmaker of novelist, piecing together the cogs and wheels of his plots with unerring meticulousness"

The literary critic Anthony Andrew wrote: "McEwan's signature craftsmanship in the creation of tension"


Ian McEwan  image quote