Available in paperback from Vintage. Read an interview with McEwan.
About the Novel: In a world not quite like this one, Margaret Thatcher battles Tony Benn for power and Alan Turing has achieved an astonishing breakthrough in artificial intelligence.
In an alternative 1980s London, Charlie, drifting through life and dodging full-time employment, is in love with Miranda, a bright student who lives with a terrible secret. When Charlie comes into money, he buys Adam, one of the first batch of synthetic humans. With Miranda’s assistance, he co-designs Adam’s personality.
This near-perfect human is beautiful, strong and clever – and soon a love triangle forms, which leads Charlie, Miranda and Adam to a profound moral dilemma. What makes us human? Our outward deeds or our inner lives? Could a machine truly understand the human heart?
Provocative and thrilling, Machines Like Me warns of the power to invent things beyond our control.
‘Funny, thought-provoking and politically acute… In this bravura performance, literary flair and cerebral sizzle winningly combine’ -- Sunday Times
The Cockroach is a novella in which the main character, Jim Sams, undergo a metamorphosis from an average nobody to the most powerful man in Britain when he wakes up to find himself the Prime Minister. Sams’ mission? To carry out the will of the people, no matter what - or whom - gets in his way.
Ian McEwan says: ‘As the nation tears itself apart, constitutional norms are set aside, parliament is closed down so that the government cannot be challenged at a crucial time and ministers lie about it shamelessly in the old Soviet style, and when many Brexiters in high places seem to crave the economic catastrophe of a no deal, and English national extremists are attacking the police in Parliament Square, a writer is bound to ask what he or she can do. There’s only one answer: write. The Cockroach is a political satire in an old tradition. Mockery might be a therapeutic response, though it’s hardly a solution. But a reckless, self-harming, ugly and alien spirit has entered the minds of certain politicians and newspaper proprietors. They lie to their supporters. They express contempt for judges and the rule and norms of law. They seem to want to achieve their ends by means of chaos. What’s got into them? A cockroach or two, I suspect.’
The Cockroach was published on 27 September 2019 by Jonathan Cape in the UK and later in the US and Canada.
Ian McEwan’s works have earned him worldwide critical acclaim. He won the Somerset Maugham Award in 1976 for his first collection of short stories First Love, Last Rites; the Whitbread Novel Award (1987) and the Prix Fémina Etranger (1993) for The Child in Time; and Germany's Shakespeare Prize in 1999. He has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction numerous times, winning the award for Amsterdam in 1998. His novel Atonement received the WH Smith Literary Award (2002), National Book Critics' Circle Fiction Award (2003), Los Angeles Times Prize for Fiction (2003), and the Santiago Prize for the European Novel (2004). Atonement was also made into an Oscar-winning film.
In 2006, Ian McEwan won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel Saturday and his novel On Chesil Beach was named Galaxy Book of the Year at the 2008 British Book Awards where McEwan was also named Reader's Digest Author of the Year. Solar won The Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction in 2010 and Sweet Tooth won the Paddy Power Political Fiction Book of the Year award in 2012. Ian McEwan was awarded a CBE in 2000. In 2014 he was awarded the Bodleian Medal.