Monday, November 27, 2006

A mountain out of a molehill

  • More accusations of plagiarism, this time aimed at Ian McEwan.
McEwan seems to have copped to it all along, anyway, so what's the big kerfuffle all about?
McEwan, 58, said Andrews was a source of "inspiration" for his novel and its characters.

"An inspiration, yes. Did I copy from another author? No," he said on his Web site (

While researching "Atonement," his 2001 work shortlisted for the Booker prize for fiction, he came across "No Time For Romance" in an Oxford library and drew on its descriptions of life in a London hospital during World War Two.

"As with the Dunkirk section, I drew on the scenes she described," he wrote in his rebuttal.

"For certain long-outdated medical practices, she was my sole source and I have always been grateful to her."

He added that he acknowledged his debt to Andrews in the author's note at the end of "Atonement" and spoke about her in numerous interviews.

"My one regret is not meeting her," he continued. "But if people are now talking about Lucilla Andrews, I am glad."

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