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Ian McEwan's Long Lost Brother

January 16, 2007

A guy from The Times in London called me up this morning wanting me to drop everything and trek out to Stanford to track down novelist Ian McEwan who happens to be there today giving a lecture. The news desk is all a-twitter because McEwan’s agent has just confirmed that the author has a long-lost older brother, a bricklayer by trade, who was apparently given up for adoption by his mother during the second world war. The paper had interviewed the bricklayer and wanted me to get some stuff out of the writer -- about what it feels like to find out you have an extra sibling after all these years and how the knowledge might affect your work etc etc.

I don't much give a damn about McEwan's long lost brother to be honest and I had a phone interview with someone in Basel to do (which had already been rescheduled once) so I declined the offer. Perhaps I'm lazy. Perhaps my idea of a story doesn't correlate with that of The Times. Perhaps the thought of hijacking a poor, unsuspecting novelist while he’s trying to spruce up his California tan and say a few genteel words about the art of writing or somesuch seems distasteful to me. Probably explains why I'm out here on the edge of the world writing about an obscure art form for an alternative weekly.

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