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Ian McEwan gets C+ for essay on Ian McEwan

September 22, 2021 - 07:04 -- Admin

Cleaning out my notebook yesterday and came across this old LA Times bit about Big ‘L’ literature guy Ian McEwan helping his kid write a high school essay on a book by… Ian McEwan.

"Compelled to read his dad’s book — imagine. Poor guy," McEwan said. "I confess I did give him a tutorial and told him what he should consider."

Those concerned that young Greg had an unfair advantage on his test needn't worry.

"I didn’t read his essay but it turned out his teacher disagreed fundamentally with what he said," McEwan said. "I think he ended up with a C+."

I’d been keeping it a while until my daughter was far enough removed from high school that I could tell the story of the time her English teacher set the class an assignment to write a pitch letter to a publisher.

Yes, I helped her.

Yes, it was a stellar example of the genre, mashed up from a couple of dry successful pitch letters to actual publishers that resulted in gigantic piles of gold doubloons pouring into JB’s secret underground doubloon saloon.


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She got better than a C+, but only after ditching everything I told her to do and replacing it on the second go around with a load of old tosh that her teacher suggested that wouldn’t even have earned her the courtesy of a rejection letter.

Insert contemptuous sniff here. CC to Ian McEwan.