Books The Cement Garden

Thumb_0995fc3ab0078b5d14747bf4c0dcc2a9 Ian McEwan
Jonathan Cape
  • One afternoon as I was at my desk, these four children, with their distinct identities, suddenly rose before my imagination. I didn’t have to build them up—they appeared ready-made. I wrote some quick notes, then fell into a deep sleep. When I woke, I knew that at last I had the novel I wanted to write. I worked obsessively for a year, paring the material back all the time because I wanted the novel to be brief and intense.

Our Thoughts

It’s the acute psychology, not the incest and morbidity, that’s most affecting in The Cement Garden. As much as that says for McEwan’s adroit characterizations, it also questions his taste.

— Brian Flanagan

“Precocious Children”